Trust account to assist election preparations

The decision by the Government to establish a trust account for the Electoral Commission will greatly improve preparations for next year’s elections.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says with the trust account, there will be continuous work during the end of year holidays.

Previously, all funds were remitted back to Treasury at the end of each year and then released again at the start of the new year.

“The signatories to the trust account are myself and the Secretary for Finance,” said Gamato. 

“We will be managing the trust account and reporting to Government, so the election funds will be there so we will continue to work during Christmas (and) New Year, and even conduct elections in 2017.”

So far, a total of K40 million has been allocated to the Electoral Commission to prepare for the 2017 elections.

K10 million was initially released by the Government in the 2016 National Budget and K30 million in the 2016 Supplementary Budget.

Some of that funding has gone to the common roll updating, which is expected to be completed in January 2017.

Meanwhile, Gamato is calling on provincial administrations to support the EC in completing the common roll update through funding, logistical support and staffing.

He said any fund deposited under the EC Trust Account will be used for their provinces only.

Cedric Patjole