NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 13 – The High Court on Monday cancelled the electoral commission’s Sh2.5 billion ballot papers tender awarded to a Dubai-based firm, Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company.
According to the order issued by Justice George Odunga, the tender awarded to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company was quashed for failing to comply with the amended election laws of 2016.
The court concurred with the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) which had petitioned the court that in awarding the tender, IEBC ought to have taken into account the current legislative framework.
“It was unreasonable for the electoral body to have proceeded with awarding the tender without taking into account the new rules in,” he ruled.
Consequently, IEBC was directed to re-start the tendering process afresh in accordance with law for the supply and delivery of ballot papers for election, election results, creation forms and poll registers.
CORD through lawyer James Orengo had contested the contract arguing that specifications on election materials in the tender documents were not in conformity with requirements of the amended law and the Integrated Electronic Electoral System.
It was CORD’s case that the amended electoral law requires a register of voters that captures the biometric data of a voter which includes unique identifiers or attributes such as finger prints, hand and earlobe geometry, retina and iris patterns, voice waves and signatures.
Declaration forms as ordered, were said not to be in compliance with the prescribed form of tabulated results of an election for the President from a polling station to the constituency tallying centre and to the national one.
The court heard that the declaration forms ordered “may not have synergy and conference with the integrated electronic system as required by law”.
CORD implored the court to address the issue urgently, apprehensive that should the foreign company be allowed to proceed with the illegal tender, the general elections integrity, credibility and transparency will be adversely affected.
It was further claimed that poll registers ordered by the IEBC will not satisfy the conditions needed or the audit of register.
On its part, IEBC had opposed the request, arguing that if orders sought were granted it would delay the process and stall preparations for the August General Election.
“Certainly yes but will do what we can, within the law, to shield it from affecting August 8 date,” IEBC Communications Manager Andrew Limo said.