- First is the litany of cases, most of them self-inflicted, which the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has lost at the taxpayer’s expense.
- At Sh50 billion, Kenya holds one of the most expensive elections in the world.
- The Cabinet last month approved another Sh10 billion for the repeat poll and the commission has asked for an additional Sh3.7 billion.
Even as the country was on Wednesday coming to terms with the High Court ruling that could have far-reaching implications on the presidential election calendar, attention has turned to the electoral agency’s blunders which are costing the country billions of shillings.
First is the litany of cases, most of them self-inflicted, which the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has lost at the taxpayer’s expense.
Then there is the wider cost which accrues from the uncertainty which the country has been thrown into following the bungled August 8 elections and the ongoing circus which is sure to cost the country more.
In ruling that Thirdway Alliance presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot be included in the October 26 repeat poll, High Court Judge John Mativo held that IEBC was wrong in taking the repeat poll ordered by the Supreme Court as a re-run when it was clear that it was a fresh election.
The other ruling which the commission has been criticised for misinterpreting relates to the IEBC vs Maina Kiai and others’ Appellate Court decision in June, which made votes counted at the polling station final.
The Supreme Court on September 1 held that the precedent did not absolve IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati from the duty of verifying the results by counter-checking entries in forms 34A.
Many are now questioning how IEBC, whose chairman and CEO are lawyers, has a full-fledged legal department, retains a team of top legal experts and has an awesome legal war chest, could have made wrong decisions where they would have thought better.
While withdrawing from the October 26 presidential election on Tuesday, National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga cited IEBC’s unwillingness to “undertake any changes to its operations and personnel to ensure that the illegalities and irregularities that led to the invalidation of the August 8 election do not happen again.”
At Sh50 billion, Kenya holds one of the most expensive elections in the world.