Kenyans do not trust each other, says electoral commission chair

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Lack of trust among Kenyans is the reason behind the costly elections, said the Independence Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairperson Wafula Chebukati.

Chebukati defended the huge budget needed by the commission to conduct the 2022 polls during a show on local television.

On Monday, the IEBC boss announced that the polls will cost $409 million, but the Treasury has allocated $263 million, leaving the commission with a deficit of $146 million.

According to him, the commission spends almost $60 million on human labour due to numerous polling stations. He noted that during 2017 polls, there were 40883 polling stations, and the number is expected to rise to 53,000.

“Kenyan Law says we cannot have more than 700 voters per polling station… We need at least 6 clerks in each polling station, we have a presiding officer and the deputy and then security officers,” said Chebukati.

Another cost-driving factor is the security elements on the ballot papers and the advanced technology needed, resulting from a lack of trust.

Apart from financial constraints, Chebukati revealed that the commission also faces a lack of 3G network coverage in some areas, which hinders the instant transmission of results.

“In 2017 we had 11,000 polling stations without 3G network and we could not transmit the text and image result until pour Presiding Officers had to go to certain areas like tallying centres to transmit… We are engaging the communications authority with a view to mapping out these areas,” he added.

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