State Bars Foreign Donors From Financing IEBC Ahead Of 2022 Poll

Wafula Chebukati
IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati [Photo/Courtesy]

The government has blocked direct financing of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Sources in the know claim that the move is aimed at curbing foreign influence in Kenyan elections.

The government recently communicated the decision to the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) which has been managing the election funding.

According to a source at the Foreign Affairs ministry, who spoke to Nation, the government told the donors that “if we need help, we will let you know”.

The government sent the letter in response to a communication from one of the donors who is said to have sought clearance to start the new funding programme that would have lasted up to the 2022 elections and beyond.

Following the hard stance taken by the state, the affected donors have alerted the electoral body to reorganise its programmes in light of the new financial realities that will definitely affect the commission’s preparations for the 2022 poll.

Read: The Cost Of Referendum Is Not Ksh14 Billion, IEBC Officials Want To Steal – Raila

The President Uhuru Kenyatta-led administration’s move is linked to frustrations that followed the nullification of the 2017 presidential election in favour of Raila Odinga, who had challenged the Head of State’s victory at the Supreme Court.

The Jubilee leadership had blamed foreign influence, among others, through an international organisation, for the nullification of the outcome of the poll.

In the past elections, internationals organisations have funded the commission’s activities including voter registration, election security, technology acquisition and also staff training.

Also Read: IEBC Declares Raila’s Sh2 Billion Referendum Impractical

Unless the government reconsiders the decision, the donors will be restricted to just institutional strengthening of programmes such as training.

“We have now reached that point where we can raise our own revenues that can fund our development and governance issues, ” the source at the Foreign Affairs ministry, who sought anonymity, told the publication.

“Elections and the Judiciary are basic sovereignty issues that we cannot let foreigners fund.”

However, an IEBC official intimated that without the funding it would be “almost impossible” to run most of the 2022-related activities.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege

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