NATIONALNEWS

We’ll recycle poll gadgets, says IEBC

Agency chairman Chebukati says move is aimed at cutting the high cost of elections

 Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) plans to apply the same electronic gadgets and equipment used in 2017 elections for 2022 General Election.

  Speaking at his office during a stakeholders’ meeting yesterday,  IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said the move is aimed at drastically cutting the high cost of elections.

He said the budgetary allocation for the 2017 General Election was Sh49.9 billion and composed of direct and indirect election related expenses which involved the repeat presidential poll.

Of the registered 19.6 million voters during 2017 elections, each spent Sh2,500,  placing Kenya at the apex of high spenders on elections in the world, behind only Papua New Guinea.

“Our stakeholders and commission key concerns is taming cost of elections, building trust, timing of legal reforms, voter turnout, candidate nominations and the integration of ICT in the electoral process,” said Chebukati.

 He said the country should adopt the Rwanda electoral practice, which is deemed East Africa’s most cost-effective.

 “I was on an observer mission to Rwanda’s parliamentary elections under the auspices of the African Union and key benchmarks include the cost of elections and Diaspora voting,” said Chebukati.

 Rwanda’s last election is estimated to have cost at least Sh600 million for the 6.8 million voters or Sh100 per voter on average.

The cost of the election in Uganda last year was Sh400  per voter compared with Sh500 per voter in Tanzania in 2015.

“We must start to reuse all electoral materials used in 2017 i.e. Kiems kit, BVR machines, among others for 2022 elections,” he added.

He decried the idea of wasting the equipment saying that if the commission does not pay for Kiems kit licences and update the software, billions will be used to purchase others in 2022.

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