The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ( IEBC) has said that there is no money to verify the signatures collected by the Punguza Mzigo Referendum campaign by Dr Ekuru Aukot.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer Hussein Marjan appearing before the Justice and Legal affairs committee said the the commission would need about Ksh35 million to verify the 1.3 million signatures collected by the Third Way Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot.
Marjan said that they estimated that the verification would cost Ksh35 million as the previous verification from the the Okoa Kenya referendum calls cost approximately the same amount.
We put the cost at Ksh35million because we spent the same amount during the verification of the Okoa Kenya signatures,” Marjan told the members of the committee.
He said that the Punguza mzigo referendum push may be affected if the National Treasury fails to advance the commission more money.
The CEO said that the IEBC was facing financial constraints as they had requested Ksh13.5 billion but only received 4.7 billion.
IEBC is set to receive a referendum bill and signatures on the referendum from Aukot today.
Aukot had earlier on written to the commission requesting for a date to submit the bill and signatures.
“We write to inform you that the commission is ready to receive your draft bill and signatures on the 21st February, 2019,” responded IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati.
Aukot’s referendum call aims at reducing the size of Constitutional commissions, strengthen devolution and senate, reduce the number of members of parliament as well as reducing the cost of running parliament.
In December last year, an Infotrack survey showed that constitutional change call is supported by 44 per cent of Kenyans but opposed by 45 per cent while another 12 per cent were still undecided.
The Nasa wing of politicians have also been drumming for a constitutional change, with creation of the parliamentary form of government.