According to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), a decision to subject the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report recommendations to a popular initiative will cost the taxpayer a hefty amount of money.
The commission in charge of elections in the country has rubbished claims earlier made by opposition chief Raila Odinga that alleged Sh2 billion was sufficient to carry out a referendum process.
IEBC says the referendum will cost the taxpayer close to Sh15 billion.
Officials of the electoral agency made this revelation Wednesday when they appeared before the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee to respond to audit queries touching on the commission.
Acting IEBC Chief Executive Office Hussein Marjan disclosed that a close review of a possible referendum by the commission showed that the country must be prepared to expend a sizeable chunk of its revenues to ensure a successful poll.
“We have sat down and asked ourselves what is required for a referendum. Our budget was in excess of Sh. 14 billion even though we are still working on the exact budget.” Marjan told the sitting.
According to Marjan, this figure was arrived at after factoring in the total number of eligible voters in the country which currently stands at 19.6 million as captured in the IEBC register. He said that this is even with an expected rise in the number given the fact that voter registration exercise has been ongoing across the country.
The Sh15 million budgets will also accommodate the needs of all polling officials and the security agents.