IEBC interviews: Professor calls for local printing of ballot papers

IEBC interviews: Professor calls for local printing of ballot papers

In Summary

• Joseph Gitile Naituli, a professor of management and leadership at Multimedia University, on Tuesday said Kenyan polls are expensive because of some of the decisions made by the electoral body and its stakeholders.

• He explained that there was no reason for the electoral agency to print ballot papers abroad.

IEBC candidate Prof Joseph Gitile before the selection panel at KICC on July.13, 2021
IEBC candidate Prof Joseph Gitile before the selection panel at KICC on July.13, 2021
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Kenyan elections are unnecessarily expensive, an IEBC commissioner candidate has told the selection panel.

Joseph Gitile Naituli, a professor of management and leadership at Multimedia University, on Tuesday said Kenyan polls are expensive because of some of the decisions made by the electoral body and its stakeholders.

He explained that there was no reason for the electoral agency to print ballot papers abroad.

“Some of these decisions are driven by lack of trust in Kenyan institutions. However, the electioneering period should not be a season of people to do business,” he stated.

If appointed a commissioner, Naituli said he will persuade the chair of the polls agency and colleagues and stakeholders - among them political parties and the Office of Registrar of Political Parties - to print ballot papers locally.

“We need to come together and have a committee that will oversee the printing of ballot papers and use the government printer. We will end up saving a lot of money,” he added.

“We need to stop this distrust in our institutions. I am sure my idea will be supported. I am very persuasive and the chair is a patriotic Kenyan. As a patriotic Kenyan, he would want to spend all money in Kenya,” he stated.

IEBC placed the cost of the August 2017 General Elections at Sh49 billion. With 19,611,423 registered voters, the average cost per voter was Sh2,396 (US$ 23.05).

It made the 2017 General Election Kenya’s most expensive election. It also made Kenya’s election one of the most expensive in the world when the cost-per-eligible-voter metric is used.

In East Africa, Rwanda's last election was the most cost-effective, with the electoral body spending US$ 6.9 million for the 6.8 million voters or US$1.05 (Sh100) per voter on average.

It was an improvement over the US $1.71 (Sh171) per voter spent in 2010.

In contrast, Kenya’s average cost for the August 8 polls reflected an increase of more than half on the 2013 elections and is a quarter more expensive than in 2007.

The cost of the election in Uganda’s last polls was US$4 (Sh400) per voter compared with $5.16 (Sh516) per voter.