NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 8 – MPs want Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa to explain the criteria used by the Cabinet to select a Canadian firm to supply Biometric Voter Registration kits ahead of next year’s general election.
Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale said the move amounted to the government taking over the procurement of the BVR kits from the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission.
The Biometric Voter Registration kits that will be used to register voters electronically ahead of the March 4, 2013 polls could be sourced from a Canadian firm, Code Incorporated.
Code Inc. Is no stranger to Kenya’s electoral process, having implemented the pilot electronic registration exercise in 2010.
Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba and his Chepalungu counterpart Isaac Ruto demanded the minister also address the House on the preparations made to assure Kenyans living in the Diaspora of the possibility of them cast their votes in the 2013 polls.
Kibwezi MP Phillip Kaloki and Dujis MP Aden Duale said that Kenyans were concerned that they might not be able to participate in the polls.
The MPs want to know the level of preparedness by the IEBC to register the Diaspora voters and which criteria will be used by the poll agency in determining which of the six elective posts the Diaspora people will be allowed to vote for.
Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament Amos Kimunya pledged that Wamalwa will make the statement to the House on next Thursday adding that the government was still working on regulations to manage the electioneering process.
The Grand Coalition Government principles met with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission top brass on Monday, where they offered to procure the BVR kits on behalf of the electoral body in time for the polls.
The commission cancelled the tender for the supply of 9,750 BVR kits on Wednesday following immense public outcry on the manner the tender had been awarded. In announcing the cancellation, the commission said the two lowest bidders did not meet the due diligence requirements while the other two firms who met the due diligence including Symphony Limited, were above budget.
The company, which was second-placed in the tender bid, said it had fallen victim to “unknown intrigues.”
The Indian firm 4G Identity Solutions which had bid the lowest said it would respect the decision by the IEBC to cancel the tender. However, the firm appealed to the commission to rethink the cancellation since it would negatively impact them.
The Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005 allows the IEBC to terminate the process before it awards the contract. In such case, the bidders cannot seek court intervention.
Apart from 4G and Symphony of Kenya, other companies shortlisted for the tender were Face Technologies of South Africa and Ontrack Innovations of Israel.