ODM leader Raila Odinga has accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials of plotting to loot public funds through the upcoming Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum.
In a statement, Raila said that the cost of a referendum should never be more than Ksh2 billion, and not the Ksh14 billion announced by IEBC.
“Elections have become one of the major avenues for ripping off the country through various schemes that are never meant to save costs or yield credible results but to line pockets of individuals. Those schemes are evident in the IEBC’s latest reasoning. That kind of impunity cannot be allowed to soil an exercise like the upcoming BBI referendum whose objectives, among others, is to stop the culture of theft of public resources and corruption in public offices,” said Raila.
According to Raila, with government institutions including police stations, schools, national and county government offices and government vehicles and a fairly well developed transport infrastructure, Kenya should be able to conduct a one ballot referendum at no more than Ksh2 billion.
Raila has promised to pick a team that will help IEBC develop a cost-effective budget for the referendum.
“Shortly, we will pick a team to sit with IEBC and itemize what will lead to a cost effective referendum exercise and elections. IEBC seems to be determined never to develop an operational performance that contains costs,” he said.
IEBC had indicated that the Ksh14 billion budget was based on the 19.6 million voters in the IEBC register, a number that might rise given the continuous voter registration across the 47 counties.
“We have already sat down and asked ourselves what is required for a referendum. Our budget was coming to Sh14 billion though we are still fine-tuning it,” said IEBC acting CEO Hussein Marjan.