The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will use a total of Ksh93,729,800 for verification of Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Constitutional Amendment Bill signatures.
IEBC received Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020 and 4.4 million supporters signatures from the promoters of the initiative on December 10, 2020, and consequently requested for a budget from the National Treasury to begin the verification exercise.
“The Commission is required by law to undertake verification of the supporters to ensure compliance with the requirements of Article 257(4) of the Constitution of Kenya. To undertake the verification exercise, the Commission will have to hire data entry clerks, conference facilities, accommodation, stationery, among others,” IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said.
Initially, IEBC had prepared and submitted a budget of Ksh241,011,000 to the National Treasury, for full accommodation to all verification personnel.
“This arrangement would prevent exposure to Covid-19 pandemic due to daily commuting of the verification personnel using public transport and compliance with curfew restrictions. It would have also ensured optimum verification process since all personnel are accommodated on one site,” added Chebukati.
“Upon submission of the budget to the National Treasury, the Commission was invited for discussions on cost rationalization given the constrained fiscal space. It was agreed in that meeting that the Commission explores several scenarios. The Commission resubmitted budgets based on four scenarios. the highest being Ksh241,011.000 as submitted earlier and the lowest being Ksh93,729,800 mainly based on non-residential verification clerks,” he added.
The National Treasury made an allocation of Ksh93,729,800 to the commission for the exercise.
“The Commission will therefore proceed with the verification exercise accordingly,” added Chebukati.
Earlier today, ODM leader Raila Odinga accused Chebukati of trying to sabotage the BBI process by demanding more resources than necessary.
The ODM leader said the verification of signatures needs few resources, accusing the Wafula Chebukati-led commission of mischief.
“They have outrageous demands. The problem with this country is trusting the wrong people with public offices. Let them resign and give us an opportunity to hire a new team that can deliver results,” said Odinga.
According to the handshake partner, it is not a must to verify all the four million signatures.
“The Punguza Mzigo team gave them 1.5 million signatures and they were able to verify them in a period of one month; they are now demanding more than Ksh200 million. This is unacceptable,” said Raila.