, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 20 – Opposition leader Raila Odinga has denied accusations that the reason he has been so vehement in his opposition to the awarding of the ballot printing tender to Al Ghurair is because he has vested commercial interests in the tender going to South African firm Paarl Media.
Odinga says he has no such interests and his only non-negotiable is that the tender be awarded to any other firm free from political influence.
“They’ve been making some wild allegations that there’s some company in South Africa, I’ve just heard about the company from one Mr Duale that I’ve been fronting for a company. I’m not that cheap to be involved in tenders for printing of ballot papers. I would never stoop that low so those are basically diversionary tactics.”
Odinga has remained adamant in his demand that the tender awarded to Al Ghurair for election material be cancelled despite the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission moving full-steam ahead with its printing schedule as explained to Capital FM News by IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba on Tuesday.
“Any other way and I think we’ll be asking ourselves whether it will be appropriate to have this election on August 8 or not because you don’t wake up in the morning and say yes, let’s have this election. You plan for the election and elections are planned not just in a year but three years in advance.”
Leader of the Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale has accused Odinga of being so insistent in his calls for the cancellation of the Al Ghurair tender because he stands to benefit financially from an award to Paarl Media.
The Catholic Church added its voice to the matter on Tuesday saying that should dialogue fail, the tender should be cancelled in the interest of keeping the peace.
“If the dialogue reaches a deadlock the whole thing should be cancelled because it’s good to move to the General Election with the good mood of all the parties agreeing,” the Bishop of Eldoret Cornelius Korir said.