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Kenya spent $536m for 2 elections in 2017 : Treasury

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A Kenyan man casts his ballot at a polling station in Gatundu, Kiambu county, during the August 8, 2017 general election. Kenyans began voting in general elections headlined by a too-close-to-call battle between incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and his rival Raila Odinga, sparking fears of violence in east Africa’s richest economy. / AFP PHOTO / STR / SIMON MAINA

Kenya spent 536 million U.S. dollars on the two elections conducted in 2017, with the money going directly to elections and supportive activities that include provision of security, the Treasury said.

The two elections, one held on Aug. 8 and the second on Oct. 26, 2017 following the annulment of presidential poll were financed through two budgets of financial year 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018.

“The cash in the first budget did the preparatory activities while that in the second focused on the actual election.

“The general election was prolonged after the Supreme Court nullified the Aug. 8, 2017 results,” said Treasury in the Post-Election in Economic and Fiscal Report released Wednesday evening.

The fresh poll resulted in adjustment in the budget for both the direct and indirect expenses toward the general election, pushing up costs to make the period the most expensive electioneering period in the East African nation’s history.

“Out of the total allocation of 643 million dollars for election in the two financial years, 536 million dollars or 83.3 per cent of budget was spent by end of December 2017.

“This includes 224 million dollars in the first financial year and 312 dollars in the second,” the Treasury said.

Money allocated for direct election expenses was used by the electoral commission on activities that included the recruitment of election officials, training, registration of voters, inspection of voter registers, procurement of election materials and equipment, package and distribute election materials and clear candidates to participate.

Service offered by the police and the intelligence unit consumed the budget on indirect expenses.

“The objective of this report is to provide a review of election related expenditure and evaluate economic performance and how this impacted on the financial objectives and fiscal responsibility principles,” said Kamau Thugge, the Treasury’s principal secretary.


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