IEBC Needs Sh42.7 Million Daily On Any Additional Voter Registration Day.

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The national polls agency shall require further budgetary allocation of Sh42.7 million per day on any additional voter registration day.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had scheduled the Enhanced Continuous Voter Registration (ECVR) exercise to run for 30 days effective from October 4 to November 2.
However, the High Court in Eldoret issued orders prohibiting the Commission from “closing the national voter registration exercise slated for closure on November 2”.
The ECVR exercise cost the country Sh1.282 billion (an average of Sh42.7 million per day) for the 30 days in form of wages to temporary registration officials, logistics, and direct expenses to the third party service providers.
In the meantime, IEBC advocates appeared in court yesterday for the hearing of the said case, and the matter was adjourned to be heard tomorrow.
The Commission, in compliance with the said court order, will continue with ECVR until further orders from the court, it said.
The electoral agency moved to court seeking a review of orders issued on Monday, which extended the mass voter registration period.
IEBC filed the case under a certificate of urgency, citing financial constraints as a reason that will impede voter registration.
On Monday, Justice Eric Ogola directed the commission to continue with the exercise until November 9 when the case filed by Eldoret-based activist Patrick Cherono will be heard.
However, during the hearing of the IEBC application, Justice Ogola was forced to adjourn to Thursday at 11:30am after the virtual court hearing failed due to lack of internet connection at the law court.
Kaira Nabasenge, the advocate representing Cherono, had also requested time to file a conclusive response to the IEBC application.
Mwangi Kang’o, who was holding brief for the advocate representing the IEBC requested the court to set aside the court order until their application was heard and determined.
He told the court that the IEBC had no funds to continue with the exercise.
While faulting IEBC, Justice Ogolla noted that the commission had declared in the media that they will not continue with the registration exercise due to a lack of funds.
“The senior officers cannot get to a stage where they disobey court orders when they (IEBC) will be relying on court orders to carry out elections. IEBC cannot be in the forefront of disobeying court orders,” said Justice Ogola.
Cherono, a resident from Uasin Gishu sued the IEBC and the National Assembly while seeking orders for extension of voter registration.
In his petition, he sought orders from the court to compel the IEBC to continue with the mass registration for at least 90 days to allow more citizens to register.
He told the court that bearing in mind that there is the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, Kenyans who have attained the age of majority should be given ample time to exercise their right of registering as voters.
Cherono indicated that it is now apparent that despite the low voter turnout, the electoral commission may not extend the mass voter registration deadline of November 2.
He cited the issue of less funding of the Commission by the National Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee as a reason for the IEBC’s early closure of the registration exercise.
The petition further indicated that the IEBC is mandated to continuously carry out voter registration and not periodically.
Justice Ogola in his ruling prohibited the IEBC from closing the ongoing voter registration until the case is heard.
The hearing of the IEBC application will take place tomorrow (Thursday)

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