Kenya presidential election re-run will cost over KSh15 billion (UShs522.6bn) and will need the State to tighten its belt to finance it, says Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS), Henry Rotich.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had submitted plans to spend only KSh12.2 billion but the CS says security expenses will increase the figure by over Sh3 billion, reports the Standard Newspaper.
Consequently, government officials will be denied foreign and local trips, furniture, vehicles and hospitality treatment to fund repeat election and food relief to counter continued drought.
“To finance some of those emerging priorities, we have to restructure some expenditure and we are targeting non-essential expenditure particularly travel, both domestic and foreign. Foreign is actually banned for now so that we can allow resources available to be directed to conduct another election,” he said.
“We are also reviewing hospitality training and non-priority development expenditure,” he added.
Kenya’s budget shortfall has always been a thorn in the flesh, with Treasury anticipating a Sh524.6 billion hole in this financial year’s Sh2.29 trillion budget.
The surprise repeat election is a setback, especially since Kenyan elections remain an expensive affair with the National Treasury having spent Sh60 billion from the exchequer to ensure success of the August 8 poll.
The money was split between IEBC, security forces as well as the Registrar of Political Parties and the Judiciary.
Police got Sh1.6 billion of food rations and Sh4 billion of allowances as well as Sh3.8 billion for enhanced security operations in Lamu, Mandera, Wajir and other hotspots but are requesting an additional Sh8.2 billion.