, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 12 – Constitutional expert Kibe Mungai has criticized the High Court’s ruling that found the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) at fault of failing to engage the public in the awarding of the printing tender to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing.
Speaking to Capital FM News in a phone interview, Mungai said that the last week’s ruling of engaging the public is not a legislative framework provided for in the Constitution nor is there a policy guideline in place that stipulates the public should be involved in procurement matters.
“The ruling came as a surprise… never in the history of procurement has there been any form of public participation,” said Mungai.
He argues that the poll agency should be given time to focus on preparing for the August elections instead of being involved in prolonged court battles.
“The Independent Electoral Commission should be left out in any issues concerning courts. This way they will be able to adequately ensure that Kenyans exercise their right to vote come 8th of August,” added Mungai.
He was however optimistic that the electoral commission will be able to give Kenyans their fundamental right to vote.
“Even if the court of appeal will not rule in IEBCs favour regarding the issue of the presidential ballot papers, I am certain that they will be able to beat the timeline and Kenyans will vote come the 8th of August,” said Mungai.
IEBC moved to the Court of Appeal on Monday seeking an order to stop the implementation of the nullification of the printing of the presidential ballot papers until its appeal is heard and determined.
Jubilee and the National Super Alliance (NASA) in the battle for votes are locked in a bitter feud over the printing of the presidential ballot papers.
Jubilee insists that IEBC should be left alone to procure the ballots while NASA on the other hand wants the court ruling that requires the electoral agency to engage the public before awarding the tender implemented.
On Monday presidential aspirants and representatives from both Jubilee and NASA met to discuss a way forward on the issue surrounding the printing of the presidential ballot papers following court order that nullified the process which was scheduled to start on July 18.
Even as that unfolded, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto on Tuesday in their vote hunting mission in Narok County weighed in on the subject and said that they will not be involved in any more talks with the electoral commission over the award of the presidential ballot papers printing tender.
“We will not sit in any meeting on tenders because we do not have a printing press of our own,” said Ruto.
On Monday during a campaign tour in Turkana, Kenyatta challenged the Opposition to withdraw from the August polls if they were not ready.
“If they are not ready for the polls, let them step aside and allow those who want to participate to do so instead of trying to sabotage the process. Kenyans are ready to go to the polls on August 8 and no one will deny them that right,” said Kenyatta.