The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party reckons the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has overshot the referendum budget in order to steal from Kenyans.
IEBC has said that a referendum will cost taxpayers at least Sh14 billion.
ODM party leader Raila Odinga has on his part insisted that the plebiscite will cost only Sh2 billion, claims the commission’s chairman has dismissed.
On Friday, ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna hit out at the commission saying that the Sh14 billion budget was a planned daylight robbery.
Our response to Mr. Wafula Chebukati’s statement on the referendum cost… pic.twitter.com/Yg5NbnkWnX
— The ODM Party (@TheODMparty) October 30, 2020
“We heard and read that the IEBC, in reaction to Raila’s contention that it is possible to hold a referendum at a cost of Sh2 billion, has maintained that it needs Sh14 billion to conduct a plebiscite,” he said.
According to Sifuna, the commission wasted funds on election equipment that was not utilized during the 2017 exercise.
IEBC, ODM said, through direct procurement awarded a contract for BVR IBM Server infrastructure maintenance and KIEMS infrastructure security monitoring solutions at a cost of Sh452 million which was not used during the general elections.
Further, IEBC is said to have purchased 1,694,400 security seals valued at Sh19.5 million that were unutilised.
The commission is also said to have procured 149,640.5GB extra data bundles valued at Sh127.6 million which were also not used.
Sifuna also accused the commission of incurring unnecessary legal fees of Sh202 million due to its incompetence.
It is also said that the Wafula Chebukati-led commission procured an Oracle database and security solution worth Sh273 million which it did not utilize.
Again, the IEBC is believed to have bought 8,667 SIM Cards at Sh4 million. The bunch was apparently never delivered.
“We are certain that if we left the Chicken out of the IEBC’s so-called Budget we can deliver a referendum at a cost of no more than 2B Kenya Shillings,” he added.
He also noted that it is time to reconstitute the commission which he said was responsible for electoral injustices.
“IEBC as currently constituted remains the elephant in the room; the black sheep of the family that everyone knows is the problem, but rarely talks about. It is therefore shocking that it can abrogate itself the responsibility of explaining problems that are its own creation,” Sifuna continued.
Defending his party leader on the Sh2 billion budget, Sifuna said “Baba” does not make unsubstantiated statements.
“Raila is not prone to making unverified statements, and his figures are backed by science and global case studies. The commission, as we have illustrated, has been caught with its hands in the cookie jar, yet it tries to convince us the hand was trying to clean the inside of the jar!”