, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9 – Dubai-based firm Al Ghurair has retained the multi-billion shillings ballot papers printing tender.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said on Friday that the firm had been given the contract due to the short time remaining, which cannot guarantee the strict timelines for normal procurement.
“Some of the key considerations that led to its selection are; its capacity for production where 50 per cent of machine capacity has been allocated for ballot papers with adequate backup. It has suitable emergency production and delivery plan, it has qualified personnel, there are four direct flights daily making shipping easier; the company has sufficient and stable financial base to fund its obligations and it has experience in Africa, Asia and Middle East,” Chebukati said shortly before receiving an audit of the voter register conducted by KPMG.
The Public Procurement Review Board had cancelled the tender to the firm, after a petition filed by its competitors who questioned the process used to award the tender.
Chebukati said the Commission is confident Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company will deliver on time since the country is only two months away from the General Election.
He also said that the prices quoted by the company were competitive within prevailing market rates, making it the most suitable given that the Commission was running out of time to print ballot papers.
“The Commission projects to print about 120 million ballot papers together with election results forms and poll registers. This requires adequate time to allow printers to mobilise resources and put in place logistical measures for efficient delivery,” he added.
Chebukati assured political parties that the process of printing the polling materials will be above board, with a trip of key stakeholders to witness the printing exercise in the pipeline.
The Commission has been facing fierce criticism from the Opposition National Super Alliance since September 2016 leading to court battles going all the way to the Court of Appeal with a decision being rendered to the effect that the tender be advertised afresh.
IEBC was however behind schedule with initial projections given by the Commission indicating that the tender would be awarded by May 28.
Recently, the Commission sent its ICT Director James Muhati on compulsory leave, with his procurement counterpart Lawy Aura following suit after he was over allegations of tampering with procurement of critical election materials.