IEBC ready for referendum, set to cost Ksh.12B – says Chebukati
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati says the electoral body is ready to conduct a third referendum.
Speaking to a local daily, Mr. Chebukati, however, said the commission is yet to be officially appraised about the referendum.
“So far the commission has only been notified by various promoters of their intentions to collect signatures and to draft amendment Bills. We have not yet been seized of any referendum documents,” Mr. Chebukati explained
Parties interested in the referendum are supposed to submit one million legitimate signatures to the commission as per the law.
The commission will then verify the signatures and proceed with the exercise if the threshold has been met.
The exercise, if it goes through, is expected to cost the Kenyan tax-payer an upwards of Ksh.12 billion according to the IEBC boss.
And although the commission has not set aside a budget for the referendum, Mr. Chebukati explained the commission will write to the treasury requesting for facilitation when needed.
He expressed confidence in the IEBC to conduct the exercise even as scores of politicians call for the commission’s reconstitution.
So far, four commissioners who resigned have ensured that the IEBC lacks quorum, a fact that Mr Chebukati says does not affect the body since appointing commissioners is handled by the president and parliament.
“The court has also expressed itself on the matter, including quorum. In any case it’s not the commission to appoint commissioners but other agencies, with Parliament tasked with coming up with regulations on the exercise,” Chebukati added.
Paul Kurgat, Roselyn Akombe, former vice chairperson Connie Maina and commissioner Margaret Mwachanya were the four who tendered their resignations.
The referendum debate has been okayed by Deputy President William Ruto who says it should be about improving the lives of Kenyans and not creating leadership positions.
ODM leader Raila Odinga on his part said Kenya is ready to review its constitution, eight years after its promulgation.