Fresh polls hurdle as NASA files case to block ballots printing

June 22, 2017 5:33 pm
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The Opposition says that the decision to award the tender to the Dubai-based firm was based on ulterior motives by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 22 – The National Super Alliance (NASA) has filed an application seeking to quash the Sh2.5 billion ballots paper printing tender awarded to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC.

The Opposition says that the decision to award the tender to the Dubai-based firm was based on ulterior motives by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

The alliance argues that had IEBC involved it and other key players of the August 8 polls, “it would not have awarded the tender to Al-Ghurair considering the company’s integrity and impartiality in the electoral process”.

“It (decision) was made in total disregard of pertinent facts that were available to the commission,” the applicant claims.

In the application filed Thursday afternoon, the Opposition claims that the respondents misinterpreted the law thereby making a wrong decision that may prejudice the legitimate expectation of millions of Kenya’s on a free, fair and democratic election.

NASA says that unless the orders sought to quash the award are granted, “the rights of millions of Kenyan to a free and fair electoral process shall be irreparably prejudiced.”

Owing to available information concerning association of the printing firm’s directors and shareholders with President Uhuru Kenyatta, NASA holds that” the same (Al Ghurair) is not fit to be qualified with the task of printing ballot papers to be used for the upcoming elections.”

By awarding the tender for printing of election materials to Al-Ghurair knowing the fears and suspicions the members of public have against the foreign firm, the Opposition says IEBC acted unlawfully and unfairly.

It seeks further orders to compel IEBC to reconsider the tender issued to the said company and take into account the views of the relevant stakeholders in regard to the tender.

Further, they argue that the respondents selectively elevated competence, cost effectiveness and other similar factors above other equally important constitutional precepts of transparency, inclusivity and accountability expected of every procurement process by a state organ under the constitution.

IEBC and Al Ghurair have been named as respondents in the case.

Early this month, IEBC awarded the tender after a protracted legal battle mounted by NASA.

The alliance claims President Kenyatta has close ties with Al Ghurair owners.

Justice George Odunga told the applicant to serve all the parties in the suit and the matter be heard on Friday.

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