Official tasked to explain IEBC Sh27m expenditure

Friday, October 30th, 2020 00:00 |
IEBC officials observe voting during the 2017 General Election at a polling station in Mombasa. Photo/PD/FILE

Acting Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Secretary Marjan Hussein Marjan was at pains to explain to MPs why the commission spent Sh27.48 million more on accommodation, explosives and narcotic detectors used in the last General Election.

The amount included Sh20 million spent for the hire of digital screens, projectors and accessories that were initially to cost only Sh10 million way above the Sh70.5 million that the commission paid for the hire of the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya.

 Appearing before the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi to respond to the audit queries for the 2017/18 financial year, Marjan said he spent the nights at home during the period.

He was however unable to tell which hotels the commissioners were accommodated.

Marjan only told the MPs that the commission took the decision to accommodate the commissioners and staff members based at the national tallying centre and those delivering results.

The decision to accommodate the IEBC officials was based on advice of the security agencies.

“Given the risk that arose due to the volatile environment, tension in the country, the security agencies advised the commission on the need for accommodation.

It was against this background that the directors, other cadre of staff and the lawyers were also accommodated,” he said.

 His reluctance to give details angered the MPs who demanded that he furnishes the committee with all the details of the hotels where the commissioners and staff members spent.

“You will need to furnish this committee with the details relating to the hotels where they slept,” directed Wandayi.

“There is no hotel around Bomas of Kenya meaning that the commissioners travelled long distances to their hotels. Don’t you think it would have made sense if they slept in their houses?” he added.

Garissa Township legislator Aden Duale, on his part sought to know whether IEBC had become an expert on security issues following the revelation that it acquired the explosive and narcotic detectors.

Duale wanted to know whether the commission had the capacity to test the explosive kits yet Bomas of Kenya and the election whose results were being tallied at the facility had been marked as national security matters.

 “You are here telling us that we had a parallel security system. So where is the meeting point between the security procured by the Bomas and the national security apparatus?,” he poised.

 Marjan  however explained that he had to spend more on security in order to ensure that it is not compromised.

 At the same time, Marjan was also taken to task to explain the over Sh36.18 million the commission spent on Wonder joy Party World limited for the provision of organization services for the commission.

 According to the audit report, the commission used a contract between the Interior ministry and Wonderjoy to procure the firm, which is against the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act.

More on News