Attorneys showing for the Impartial Electoral and Boundaries Fee (IEBC) pocketed Sh445.5 million in authorized charges following final 12 months’s disputed election outcomes, a report from the Controller of Finances exhibits.
The cash was paid within the three months to December, and got here after Kenyans went to the polls within the August 9 Normal Elections gained by President William Ruto.
Within the interval between July and September final 12 months, IEBC spent Sh70 million in authorized charges, pushing the overall spending for litigation within the first six months of the fiscal 12 months to Sh515.56 million.
A giant chunk of this money went to attorneys who represented IEBC within the 2022 presidential election petition filed by the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition candidate Raila Odinga.
Within the final 2017 elections, attorneys have been paid as much as Sh202 million by the IEBC to defend the fee in courts throughout the nation, whereas in 2013 they pocketed Sh390 million.
Spending on authorized charges by the IEBC tends to spike within the electioneering interval, pointing to the excessive value of servicing Kenya’s democracy.
The IEBC is a respondent in all of the circumstances filed difficult the result of an election. The electoral physique is, subsequently, pressured to spend thousands and thousands of shillings in hiring advocates to defend it within the circumstances.
Lawsuits from aggrieved candidates emanate from all of the six positions— MCAs, Senator, Members of the Nationwide Meeting, Girl Consultant, governor and President— which have been launched by the 2010 Structure.
The Nationwide Treasury allotted Sh1.2 million for authorized charges beneath the IEBC’s Authorized and Public Affairs division. This is a rise from Sh859.3 million that was allotted for authorized charges within the 2017 elections.
IEBC went to the Supreme Court docket twice within the 2017 elections after the Supreme Court docket, in a landmark ruling, nullified former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win.
Kenya has held elections thrice beneath the present Structure which was promulgated in 2010.
In all three polls, the IEBC has been pressured to defend itself earlier than the Supreme Court docket, a state of affairs that has seen it accumulate enormous pending payments in authorized charges, in line with a doc IEBC Chief Govt Officer Marjan Hussein Marjan offered to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Nationwide Meeting final month.
IEBC’s pending payments to attorneys are estimated at round Sh3.74 billion, which is 85 of all the Sh4.4 billion pending payments owed to varied suppliers as of March 10, 2023.
A report tabled in Parliament in March confirmed that attorneys who represented the electoral company within the 2022 presidential election petition would collectively pocket Sh567.3 million.
The regulation companies are a part of the 148 on the shortlist of the fee to supply authorized companies.
The IEBC employed the companies of 28 regulation companies to defend its pursuits within the final presidential election petition.