Court cancels IEBC's USD 250M ballot tender, orders fresh process

High Court judge, George Odunga cancelled the tender awarded to Al Ghuraiar Printing and Publishing Company citing lack of election laws compliance.

 

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had last year awarded the lucrative tender to a Dubai based company, however Coalition of reforms and democracy (CORD) rejected the award contract and moved to court challenging it on grounds it was awarded illegally.

High Court judge, George Odunga cancelled the tender awarded to Al Ghuraiar Printing and Publishing Company citing lack of election laws compliance.

Cord lawyer and Siaya senator, James Orengo argued that the electoral body had totally disregarded the tendering laws.

“The specification for ballot papers, result declaration forms and poll registers as contained in the tender documents are not in conformity with requirements of the electoral laws which establish electronic voting system.”

The amended election law requires a register of voters that captures the biometric data, which includes finger prints of a voter, hand and earlobe geometry, voice waves and signatures, among other things.

IEBC had instead accused Cord of trying to politicise the matter and sought to have the case dismissed since the tender was done in accordance with law however their argument did not convince Judge Odunga.

As a result the Judge directed IEBC to start the tendering process afresh in compliance with the Constitution and provisions of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act.

The case brings to mind the ‘Chicken gate’ scandal’ which saw top officials of the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) arrested last week after a lengthy investigation which has dragged on since 2014.

During the 2013 general elections, Investigations by United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) alleged that about Sh50 million was paid out as bribes to Kenyan poll agency officials.

British firm, Smith and Ouzman (S&O) was accused of dishing out bribes codenamed ‘chicken’ to Kenyan officials to secure ballot printing deals ahead of the Kenyan general election.

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