Chebukati lashes out at 'disingenuous' Raila over referendum cost - Beaking Kenya News

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Friday, 30 October 2020

Chebukati lashes out at 'disingenuous' Raila over referendum cost


The IEBC has lashed out at ODM leader Raila Odinga for disputing the commission's estimates on the cost of a planned referendum, saying the former Prime Minister is not being genuine.

In a statement on Thursday, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said Raila, being the Prime Minister in 2010, knew full well that it cost Kenyans Sh10 billion to conduct the referendum. 

He said back then, there were 12.6 million voters and 27,689 polling stations. 

Chebukati said a Sh13.7 billion referendum estimate was arrived at using the number of voters in 2017's repeat presidential election, which was 19.6 million.

The polling stations factored in for the referendum is 40,883 - the which was the number in 2017.

This is how the IEBC arrived at a Sh698 per person cost for the referendum.

Chebukati went on to highlight that 2010's referendum cost Sh794 per person, but no one mad a fuss about it.

"The above table shows that the Country spent Sh10 billion in conducting the 2010 referendum, under the Rt. Hon Raila Odinga’s watch as the Prime Minister, a fact conveniently forgotten," Chebukati said.

"The cost per voterthen was Sh794. At the time, these figures never attracted offensive statements from the Rt. Hon Odinga. It is disingenuous for him to cast such aspersion without seeking clarifications from the cmmission."

Raila had said the IEBC must be overhauled and streamlined after stating the Sh14 billion referendum cost. 

"Shortly, we will pick a team to sit with IEBC and itemize what will lead to a cost-effective referendum exercise and election," Raila said.

"IEBC seems to be determined never to develop an operational performance that contains costs."

In a statement on Thursday, Raila suggested that Kenya can use Sh200 per voter against IEBC's Sh700.

"That message needs to get to IEBC. The cost per voter ranges from Sh100 to Sh200. There is no excuse why Kenya should pay more," he said.

Raila said elections have become an avenue of ripping off Kenyans through various schemes.

"These schemes are evident in the IEBC reasoning. That kind of impunity cannot be allowed to soil an exercise like the upcoming BBI referendum whose objectives among others is to stop the culture of theft of public resources and corruption in public offices," he said.

Raila said the referendum was aimed at bringing sanity to Kenya's election process including aligning the costs to the global trends.

He insisted the referendum should be done with not more than Sh2 billion for 20 million voters.

"The money that IEBC is talking about is outrageous but also a manifestation of the institution's insensitivity to the changes Kenyans are crying for in the management of public affairs," he said.

However, Chebukati said it will not be manipulated by anyone.

"The Commission wishes to assure all stakeholders and the general public that it will continue to operate independently and shall not be subject to the direction or control by any person or authority pursuant to Article 249 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010," he said.

Chebukati said the Sh14 billion cost factored all major cost drivers such as technology, ballot papers, temporary poll officials and security.

"In addition, the cost of conducting elections under Covid-19 environment is included."

Chebukati said the commission will prepare a detailed budget once it receives notification to conduct a referendum and such a budget will be presented to relevant institutions for scrutiny and approval.

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