The government of Kenya says it is moving to limit the influence of foreign money in elections by blocking direct financing of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ahead of the 2022 polls.
The United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), it was gathered, has been informed about this development.
A source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to Nation, said the government had told the donors that ‘if we need help, we will let you know’.
The government and supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta blamed foreign influence, among others, through an international organisation, for the Supreme Court decision to nullify the presidential election.
This was confirmed by the source at the Foreign Affairs ministry, who referred to some international development partners involved in elections support programmes as ‘infiltrators’ and ‘scavengers’ working for the interest of foreign powers.
Between 2015 and 2018, the UNDP’s Support to Electoral Processes in Kenya (SEPK) extended support to the tune of $24 million (Sh2.6 billion) to constitutionally mandated institutions engaged in the electoral process, including civil society.
Those who have been donating to the UNDP basket fund include the United States Agency for International Development, the UK’s Department for International Development, the European Union, the Embassy of Ireland and the Embassy of Italy.
Through UNDP, donors have funded voter registration, election security, technology acquisition, training for IEBC staff and the police and legal reforms, among others.
Unless the government’s order is reversed, the donors will be restricted to just institutional strengthening of programmes such as training.
The source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, ‘We have now reached that point where we can raise our own revenues that can fund our development and governance issues.
‘Elections and the Judiciary are basic sovereignty issues that we cannot let foreigners fund’.
Source: Nation Media Group
Photo source: Uhuru Kenyatta