Close

EXPERT COMMENT

We have enough commissions, don't create another to gobble cash

In Summary

• It does not make sense at all and the proposers should do enough soul-searching.

• Our focus now should be on reforming IEBC.

IEBC officials in a past election
IEBC officials in a past election
Image: FILE

The country has enough commissions and therefore we should not allow the splitting of the IEBC to form another body solely responsible for boundary reviews.

It does not make sense at all and the proposers should search their souls.

We cannot just have the IEBC only doing elections every five years and the occasional by-elections.

Therefore, removing the boundary review mandate from the IEBC to create another body to earn money just to review boundaries every 10 years would be very counterproductive.

The proposers need to know one thing: Constituencies are pegged on the number of voters and who has the register of registered voters? The IEBC.

So proposing a new body is a waste of taxpayers' money. We cannot just have commissions for different things. All we need to do is to learn to trust institutions and hold them accountable.

That is the reason why the people who drafted the Constitution domiciled the boundary review and delimitation under the IEBC.

Our focus should be on reforming the IEBC; it is upon all stakeholders to see how to reform the agency and strengthen the secretariat.

Some propose reducing the number of commissioners from the current seven to five. The law calls for a minimum of three.

The number doesn't matter.  The question is how do we ensure a credible institution that enjoys public confidence? So let's quickly reform the secretariat.

Parliament and other stakeholders are slow in ensuring we have an electoral agency that can conduct elections and other duties.

The Independent Electoral Review Commission, the Kriegler Commission, says time runs out not at the end but at the beginning. This is where we go wrong.

As a country, we behave like popcorn. When it's hot, it's popping up and when it's cold, it's chilling.  Today, no one talks about reforming the IEBC. When we approach 2022, attention will shift to the commission.

We cannot run a country like this. Now is the time for reforms.

During the election year, we should not even be having laws to alter the rules of the game.

The CEO of the Institute for Education in Democracy spoke to the Star