, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 20 – South African printing firm, Paarl Media, has confirmed Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s assertions that it did not promise him a cut of the ballot printing tender should he help them secure it.
In a press release, the printing firm states that it bears no “direct or indirect” relationship with Odinga and is categorical that it did not invite him to visit any of its operation in South Africa as intimated by the Leader of the Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale.
“The company has no affiliation with Mr Ralia (sic) Odinga, nor has it had any direct or indirect engagement with him or facilitated any visits by Mr Odinga to any of its operations in South Africa.”
The firm also wished to point out that it has not demonstrated inordinate interest in the tender, bowing out of the race before the IEBC resorted to restricted tendering.
“Paarl Media respected the ruling by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board in November 2016 to dismiss the company’s appeal pertaining to the awarding of the original IEBC tender to Al Ghurair in October 2016. Paarl Media has since then chosen not to participate any further and has declined to submit a bid in relation to the restricted tender for ballots that was released in May 2017.”
Earlier on Tuesday Odinga categorised as false Duale’s claims that he stood to receive Sh1 billion from the printing firm in return for his help in securing the tender.
“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.”
The firm has also sought to clarify the roles Ben Sachs and Shailesh Patel play in their operations as that of contractors given they were adversely mentioned by Duale as having engaged in underhand dealings with Odinga on its behalf.
“Ben Sachs and Dr Shailesh Patel are not directors or proprietors of the company. Sachs has acted as a contractor to Paarl Media facilitating services in business development in the past. Dr Patel has consulted to the company on legal and procurement services on an ad hoc basis.”