IEBC ready to conduct referendum, says chairman

By Samuel Ouma

Wafula Chebukati
Wafula Chebukati

The Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC), a body that oversees an election, has announced it is ready to conduct the referendum should they be given go ahead.

According to the chairman Wafula Chebukati, the commission has only received different proposals and yet to receive an official document mandating it to run the referendum.

“So far the commission has only been notified by various individuals of their intentions to collect signatures and to draft amendment Bills.  We have not yet been issued with any referendum document,” reiterated Chebukati.

The law requires the individuals pushing for the constitution amendments to collect and submit to IEBC at least one million signatures and a draft Bill for the proposed reviews.

“The role of the commission staff with regard to a referendum through a popular initiative is to undertake verification should the threshold be met,” Chebukati said.

On claims that the commission is not credible to conduct the plebiscite due to exodus of its commissioners, the chairman maintained the commission is in a better position to work without any challenge.

“The court 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 the regulations on the excise,” Chebukati added.

Former vice chairperson Consolata Maina, Commissioners Paul Kurgat, Margaret Muchanya and Roselyn Akombe quit the commissions citing disunity in the polls agency.

On the ground of referendum budget, Chubukati divulged that the plebiscite was not budgeted for saying the commission will request the National treasury to fund it.

“As the issue of how much, we are informed by the cost of the repeat presidential elections of October 26, which costs Ksh.12 billion. With a referendum being one election, the cost would be similar,” the chairman said.

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