'IEBC does not need more money to register voters, only creativity,’ says Herman Manyora
Political analyst Herman Manyora now believes that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has failed in its mandate to deliver and should not blame lack of funds.
Manyora said the commission lacks the artistry to mobilize voters and thus will not be able to meet the desired target despite the extended time for the mass voter registration exercise.
He criticized IEBC leadership saying that they are misappropriating funds in the name of voter enlisting processes, which he said are unnecessary, instead of devising new ways of enlisting voters.
“Why would you give someone an ID when they are over the age of 18, give them the so-called Huduma number and then spent billions of shillings in enlisting voters?” Manyora posed in an interview on KTN News Wednesday night.
“When you get your ID, why can’t you go and vote? We shouldn’t spend billions. IEBC has been moving from workshop-to-workshop spending money but cannot register fresh voters. At what point has IEBC moved to a secondary school and asked the principals how many students have reached 18?”
Manyora cited lack of innovation and went forth to suggest that if the commission set to educate voters and recruit students to volunteer and carry out the registration process, they would have hit the target and saved on cost.
“If they went to our colleges and universities and say that we want you to volunteer, they will not even absorb all of them; In many countries, volunteering in the course of your career development is what gives you a job in the future,” he explained.
“IEBC is doing things in the 21st century the way we did them some 50 years ago. We must begin that culture of making our students know certain things must be done in certain ways.”
Manyora noted that Kenya is among the countries which spends a lot in elections regardless of the fact that it is still a developing nation.
“Our elections are the most expensive in the world. We should know we are a poor country and stop wasting funds,” he added.
Lawyer Ambrose Weda on his part told off Manyora saying that he was inciting Kenyans against the government agency and that may lead to a lack of trust in the commission.
Weda underscored that the fact that the commission had not received good funding at the appropriate time was a key reason for its inefficiency.
“IEBC has not been well funded. I think the commission did not get sufficient money in good time. The ideal situation should be that we have continued voter registration throughout,” he said.
Lawyer Weda similarly pointed out that the commission may fail to meet its required target if it did not prioritize voter education and adequate mobilization.
“Unless there is civil education by the candidates, leadership, and IEBC, they will not be able to net the 4.5 million target,” Weda stated.