The budgetary allocation for the 2017 General Election was Sh49.9 billion, according to Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge.
“This is composed of direct and indirect election related expenses. Direct election expenses has an allocation of Sh33.3 billion while indirect expenses are allocated Sh16.6 billion,” The PS said in a Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Report released in July.
The Cabinet last month approved another Sh10 billion for the repeat poll and the commission has asked for an additional Sh3.7 billion.
Our attempts on Wednesday to find out what fraction of this goes to law suits were unsuccessful, but a look at what the commission paid out for the 2013 elections paints a grim situation in which lawyers may be viewing the agency as a willing cash cow.
Advocates who represented IEBC during and after the 2013 General Election were paid Sh2 billion.
The presidential petition gobbled up Sh568 million for a 14-day job while other election related petitions cost the taxpayer Sh486 million, a report of the Auditor-General says.
The commission had outstanding bills for legal services totalling to Sh1 billion as at June 2013, but some 68 advocates were paid the inflated amount, as part of the pending bills, bringing the total payout to Sh2 billion, the Auditor-General found.
The report, tabled in Parliament in March, faulted the commission for not providing documentary evidence of cases represented to justify and support payments in excess of the recorded pending bills.
The Auditor-General also put the IEBC on the spot for paying Sh17 million to five law firms that were not pre-qualified and were single sourced contrary to the law.
Another Sh328 million was paid to 30 law firms during the 2015/16 financial year without lawful contracts.
With a record 339 petitions arising from the August 8 elections, the haemorrhage from the commission must be much higher with some conservative estimates setting the cost of an election petition at an average of Sh5 million.
This means the taxpayer could lose at least Sh1.5 billion on these cases, excluding the presidential petition, which could cost between Sh500 million and Sh1 billion, after factoring in inflation.