Budget and Appropriations Committee chairman, Mutava Musyimi. (Photo: Boniface Okendo, Standard)
MPs have declined to approve a supplementary budget that would have given the electoral agency Sh2.5 billion to print ballot papers.
The lawmakers Thursday rejected a request by the National Treasury to release the funds to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on grounds that the same allocation was included in the 2017-2018 budget.
Attempts by the Budget and Appropriations Committee chairman, Mutava Musyimi, to convince his colleagues to approve the supplementary estimates fell on deaf ears, with the legislators insisting that IEBC had to explain why it needs additional funds yet it already has an allocation in the budget.
IEBC is in a dilemma as it requires to have the funds to pay the supplier of the ballot papers before MPs break for the election next Thursday. The next financial year starts on July 1.
“We need to expedite the process to release the funds so as not to throw the preparations of the next elections in jeopardy,” Mr Musyimi pleaded with the lawmakers, explaining that the approval of the House would allow the Treasury CS to make a commitment relating to the procurement of ballot papers.
“With the approval of the House, the National Treasury will get a reimbursement from IEBC for purposes of cleaning up its books after the new financial year comes into effect next month,” said Musyimi.
But House Speaker Justin Muturi and a host of MPs led by Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini) faulted Musyimi, saying it would amount to double allocation.
Mr Muturi directed the committee chairman to convene a meeting with IEBC and the Treasury CS to shed light on the matter. He asked the committee to report to the House on Tuesday.
The MPs also threw out a request by the National Intelligence Service for an additional Sh300 million, maintaining that they should be given a logical justification. The agency has been allocated Sh900 million in the supplementary budget.