Broke IEBC on brink of shutdown as it wallows in Sh3.9b debt
4 months ago, 18 Aug 20:30
The electoral commission’s operations are in danger of a complete shutdown as the National Treasury starves it of cash.
Sources at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) say it has not received any money since April when the Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba was suspended.
Consequently, the commission owes its creditors more than Sh3.9 billion in unpaid bills from the 2017 General Election. This has adversely affected programmes, including continuous voter registration and by-elections.
Many of the creditors have thus refused to offer services to the commission.
Of the Sh3.9 billion in unpaid bills, there is Sh1.4 billion which “had been processed to the Internet banking”, meaning all approvals had been done.
However, the National Treasury failed to disburse it in what commission insiders see as the Executive’s way of getting back at them for the suspension of Mr Chiloba.
Other pending bills amounting to Sh2.5 billion were still with the directorates and procurements.
The pending bills are mostly related to General Election suppliers, according to an analysis of IEBC’s 2018/19 budget versus pending bills.
The commission acknowledges that even if the National Treasury were to release the pending bills, which had been processed up to Internet banking, amounting to Sh1.4 billion, “There will be a complete shutdown of the commission operation for the rest of the 2018/19 financial year.”
“It would be impossible to have pending bills paid as a first charge without shutting down the operations of the commission,” the commission states.
The analysis on the pending bills owed to creditors by IEBC, a copy of which the Sunday Nation has obtained, is as correct as at July 31 when acting CEO Hussein Marjan prepared it.
“(The) consequences of the pending bills (is) constrained relationship with the suppliers who have declined to provide critical services to the commission.”
Among the suppliers who have refused to continue working with IEBC over the unpaid bills are National Oil Corporation, Oracle Technology Systems Ltd, Safaricom and Airtel, all “who have declined to support the coming by-elections”.
Without the monies, IEBC says it “will not be able to undertake the statutory Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) due to lack of resources.”
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati last month bemoaned the National Treasury’s unexplained delays in releasing money to the commission since April, which coincides with the time Mr Chiloba was sent on compulsory leave.
“The commission has experienced constraints in accessing the Exchequer since April. For example, fully processed payments up to Internet banking stage in Ifmis amounting to Sh1.4 billion was not funded.
“This means the secretariat will be engaged in a tedious process of reversing the payments, a process that will require additional budgetary allocation in 2018/2019,” Mr Chebukati had in July told the National Assembly's Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.
And in a paid media advert on Friday, Mr Chebukati again complained of the shoestring budget the commission was operating on.
“We are working with the National Treasury and relevant committees of Parliament with the ...
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