IEBC to create 100, 000 new jobs in 2017 polls

Nearly 100,000 extra people will be hired to preside over next year’s General Election following plans to create an extra 12,000 polling stations during the 2017 General Election.

IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba told Parliament last week that the commission has planned to increase the polling stations to 44,000 from current gazetted 32, 000 in bid to ease congestion during the voting process that apparently leads to voter apathy.

“The increase of polling stations to 44,000 is necessary if we are going to register an additional 8 million voters,” Chiloba told Parliament’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.

The new 12000 stations will create demand for more polling clerks, presiding officers and their deputies in what will cost the electoral agency billions of shillings in pay.

According to tradition, each polling station is manned by a presiding officer, a deputy presiding officer and six clerks.

This means IEBC will require 352, 000 workers on the voting day, up from 256,000 that were hired during the 2013 General Election.

The commission also estimates to spend Sh4.4 billion to pay the polling staff on top of Sh3.29 billion it will require for the fresh voter listing that will happen for 30 days between February and March and will involve 30, 000 clerks.

It will also require another half a billion to hire 15, 000 clerks for 30 days to inspect the voter register ahead of the August 2017 general elections.

Mr Chiloba said additional polling stations mean additional electronic voter identification kits (Evids) and additional results transmission gadgets.

The agency wants Sh3.5 billion to buy Evids and result transmissions kits that broke down in the 2013 poll, leading to suspicion of rigging.

It also plans to recruit temporary ICT staff for the 290 constituencies three months before the election, which will be conducted on August 8.

“Financial and political support is a critical element to a credible, free and fair election in 2017. We need financial and political support mainly in the voter registration exercise and for the next general election,” Chiloba said.

The electoral agency estimates that voter mobilisation and registration will cost Sh350 million as diaspora voter listing is expected to cost Sh120 million.

Due to the increase in the number of polling stations, the IEBC will buy 106,000 ballot boxes and replace the faulty ones at Sh265 million.

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