The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is set to spend a whooping Ksh 30 million touring six Countries in what they have termed as benchmarking for boundaries review. But do you find these trips necessary? The countries lined up for the benchmarking trips are US, Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and Nigeria.
On Friday, leaders and electoral experts termed the tours “ill-advised, unnecessary and excessive” and could be a disguise to raid taxpayers’ pocket for hefty allowances.
According to the Star, Most of the people who worked with Andrew Ligale in the last boundary review nine years ago still work for IEBC and their expertise could easily be tapped.
South Africa does not have constituencies and therefore does not undertake boundary delineation.
South Africa’s Parliament consists of 490 seats, with 400 forming the Lower House or National Assembly. The Upper House or the National Council of Provinces, represents has seats (10 members from each province).
Members to the NCOP are provincial delegates nominated by each provincial legislature.
The National Assembly is filled in accordance with the votes each party gets during the General Election.
Yesterday, the national carrier Kenya Airways said it would cost Sh250,580 return to fly a single person to Toronto, Canada , one of the cities the commission plans to tour.
This means the Canada trip, flying economy, would cost the IEBC Sh1.7 million in air fair alone.
IEBC commissioners usually fly first class.
This cost is exclusive of accommodation, meals and other logistics including transport that is costly, especially in Europe.
Some of the staff included as the technical team from the Secretariat include the director of human resource and administration.
The Election Observation Group said yesterday the IEBC’s costly trips will only deepen Kenyans’ mistrust of the commission, coming at a time when the elections agency has been indicted for financial mismanagement.
Auditor General Edward Ouko says the IEBC cannot account for up to Sh9.2 billion for various contracts it awarded for the supply of goods and services used during the twin 2017 general elections.
Veteran administrator Joseph Kaguthi who was part of the Interim Independent Boundary Review Commission that delivered the current electoral boundaries wondered why IEBC was planning the tours.