, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 – The Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Issack Hassan on Monday gave the Auditor-General Edward Ouko a 10-day ultimatum to expunge his name from a special audit on the procurement of electronic voter devices used in the March 2013 General Election.
In a letter addressed to Ouko, the IEBC boss through lawyer Donald Kipkorir threatened to institute legal proceedings if his name is not removed from the impugned report.
Hassan is questioning why the Auditor-General denied him an avenue to defend himself before submitting his report to the National Assembly last week.
“Our instructions are that in default of the said expunge within ten (10) days from the date hereof, we proceed to the High Court to seek appropriate reliefs.”
“For avoidance of doubt, our client wonders why you could visit and interview people in over 19 locations locally and abroad, and not interview our client who shares same building with you,” reads the letter in part.
The letter is copied to the Chief of Staff and Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua, National Treasury Henry Rotich and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) boss Mumo Matemu.
The special audit recommended that the IEBC chairman, suspended CEO James Oswago and former Finance Minister Njeru Githae take responsibility for the unclear strategy, planning, budgeting and execution of the March 4, 2013 General Election.
The Auditor-General’s report has also blamed Hassan for influencing the single sourcing of the kits, after he allowed Canada’s First Secretary for Development Tim Colby to sit in a meeting discussing a government-to-government procurement option.
“This is what set grounds for single sourcing of government of Canada and Morpho of Canada, which resulted to government being supplied BVR kits at inflated prices,” Ouko said in his report which was tabled in the National Assembly by Majority Leader Aden Duale.
Ouko accused Oswago for mismanaging the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) tender, leading to a more costly government-to-government procurement.
Oswago is currently under suspension after being charged in court over the procurement of the BVRs and Electronic Voter Identification Devices (EVIDS) that largely failed during voting.
“If competitive bidding process was a success, 9,750 BVR kits costing approximately Sh4 billion could have been enough to register Kenyans for the General Election, but due to delays in procurement process 15,000 BVR kits costing approximately Sh6.2 billion were purchased,” said the special audit report.
He also faulted Oswago for appointments to the Tender Evaluation and Due Diligence Committees respectively.
Former Finance Minister Githae is accused of delaying to send specifications and timelines to the government of France in response to their request directed by the Cabinet Committee on Implementation of the Constitution.
“The Cabinet committee had directed that the information be forwarded by August 17 but it was not until August 21 after signing a deal with Canada that he acted.”