IEBC benchmarking trip will be waste of money

In Summary

• Cost will be around Sh30 million to visit six countries

• Commissioners Wafula Chebukati, Abdi Guliye and Bola Molu will travel with four staff from the secretariat to the USA, Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and Nigeria.

IEBC officials
IEBC officials
Image: FILE

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is about to conduct six benchmarking trips to find out how other countries handle constituency boundary reviews.

Commissioners Wafula Chebukati, Abdi Guliye and Bola Molu will travel with four staff from the secretariat to the USA, Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and Nigeria.

These trips are likely to cost around Sh30 million assuming that the commissioners fly business class and the staff travel economy class. The commissioners are likely to receive an average per diem allowance of $700 (Sh70,000 ) and the staff $400 (Sh40,000).

Confidence in the IEBC is very low. There has been fraud in procurement, in-fighting among the commissioners, and persistent questions over the conduct of the 2017 elections.

Chebukati and his team could get virtually all the information that they need from Wikipedia which lists in detail how different countries decide constituency boundaries.

The Kenya Archives also holds information dating back to 1962 on the delineation of boundaries.

To make matters worse, a former commissioner of the Interim Independent Boundary Review Commission who delivered the current electoral boundaries says they have not been contacted by the IEBC.

This appears to be a bogus trip. It will be hugely expensive and will not generate sufficient insights to justify the expense. 

The IEBC team should stay in Kenya and collect their information here.

Quote of the day: “Personality is born out of pain. It is the fire shut up in the flint."

John Butler Yeats
The Irish painter was born on 16 March, 1839