21 January 2013

Kenya: IEBC Will Be Funded to Conduct Party Primaries

Nairobi — Finance Ministers Njeru Githae on Monday said the Treasury is working on a formula that will see the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) funded by the government to conduct party nominations in future.

Citing the just concluded nominations, Githae said it was clear now that most of the political parties are not in a position to carry out the exercise, not only due to lack of finances but also expertise.

Githae said the Treasury will ensure all stakeholders are involved to come up with a policy to be implemented in the 2017 elections.

"It is now clear that the Treasury must take a proactive stand on this issue. It is no longer a party issue. Our political parties do not have the management capacity to conduct free, fair and credible elections; they don't have. There was substantial amount of money being contributed by candidates, but it was not enough," Githae said.

The minister said the country's image has already been dented even before the March 4 elections creating a perception before the international community that there will be no peace.

He said the involvement of IEBC in the future nominations will ensure credibility and transparency.

"The images being flashed out through the Internet like Twitter and all the others of people demonstrating, blocking roads, burning tires, are what we wanted to prevent before and even after elections. Out there, they think this is the general election, they can't differentiate. That is why I insist, the Treasury must be involved in future," he added.

Githae, who lost his bid for party ticket to contest the Kirinyaga county governor's slot, however urged all those who lost to concede defeat.

The minister was speaking after receiving a Sh617.6 million grant from the government of Japan to fund two projects in the country.

Sh480 billion will be used to assist unprivileged farmers in Mwea Irrigation scheme procure tractors, combine harvesters, rice planters and seedling boxes and meet the costs of transportation.

The proceeds of the second grant of Sh136.9 will be channelled towards Rural Water Supply in Baringo County which will include the construction and drilling of boreholes that are equipped with pumping facilities, storage tanks and water pipelines.

"The two projects are based on the Technical Cooperation Agreement signed between the Treasury and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) on April 2004. I am happy to note that our bilateral cooperation with Japan continues to grow in support of our economic development in very strategic sectors," the minister said.

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