Case filed to block single sourcing of KIEMS for polls

April 19, 2017 (2 weeks ago) 12:51 pm
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IEBC had last week received the first batch of 4,000 kits and was expecting to receive 10,000 more this week/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 19 – Six voters have moved to court seeking an order suspending the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s decision to directly procure the Kenya Integrated Elections Management Systems (KIEMS) from Safran Identity & Security Company.

Wycliff Ken Lugwili and five others have argued that single sourcing the Sh3billion tender is unlawful and IEBC acted arbitrarily in procuring the system which does not have a biometric voter registration component.

They have accused IEBC of deliberately violating section 17 of the Amended Election Laws by removing the voter registration component from KIEMS.

They contend that IEBC’s decision to alter KIEMS by altering the integrated electronic electoral system that enables biometric voter registration, electronic voter identification and electronic transmission of results is in violation to the Constitution and the Elections Act.

They argue that though IEBC justifies the direct procurement on the basis of urgency and compatibility, direct sourcing is not convincing.

“There is no emergency justifying the rush to directly procure the KIEMS by single sourcing,” they state.

Two weeks ago IEBC informed the public that Safran Ltd had undertaken to deliver all the 45,000kits in time for testing and certification 60 days before the elections, being June 8, 2017.

The petitioners claim that the direct procurement is in violation of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015.

They have gone on to argue that the award of tender is fraudulent on the basis that Safran was selected owing to compatibility of the devices with the existing BVR system supplied.

IEBC had last week received the first batch of 4,000 kits and was expecting to receive 10,000 more this week.

The next consignment of 25,000 kits will arrive in the country by May 10 and the rest by June 2.

The Commission plans to acquire 45,000 gadgets by August.

“As IEBC, we are on track. We are confident that the kits will be ready for the elections in August. We want to assure the country that our processes are in place,” IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati stated when he received the kits on April 13.

The training of the staff who will man the voter register inspection and verification is set to commence on April 26.

IEBC chose French firm Safran to supply the kits which will be used to integrate the voter register, identification and transmission of results.

Chebukati said the Postal Corporation of Kenya is handling the clearing and transportation of the equipment to the commission’s warehouse.

The Commission announced that it organise an opportunity for an exhibition to showcase to the media and other stakeholders how the tablet size gadget works.

The IEBC Chairman said this is slated to take place before the commencement of the voter register verification exercise.

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