NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28 – Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LCC completed printing presidential ballot papers for the August 8 General Election Thursday night.
The first batch of the election materials is set to arrive in the country on Monday according to IEBC Commissioner Roselyn Akombe who spoke to the media in Dubai as the printer finalised the job.
“The first batch will be arriving in Nairobi on Monday, July 31 and the last will be arriving on August 1,” Commissioner Akombe said in the final hours of the seven-day long printing operation at the Dubai-based firm.
Commissioners Akombe and Paul Kurgat have been overseeing the printing process since it commenced a week ago when the Court of Appeal quashed orders by a lower court barring the firm form printing the presidential ballots.
Following the Court of Appeal ruling on July 20, the Commission issued instructions to the printer to proceed with the process initially scheduled to kick off on July 18.
According to Commissioner Akombe, IEBC has made adequate logistical arrangements to have the polling materials dispatched to the 40,833 polling stations across the country through the 47 counties and 290 constituency offices.
She explained that some of the materials will be transported using choppers where the commission faces time constraints and security threats that would hamper timely delivery of ballots.
“There are some parts of the country where the security situation does not allow us to use road network in Wajir, Mandera, Garissa, Lamu and Turkana because of distance. We’re going to use helicopters to deliver ballot papers there and other sensitive materials,” she said.
Already, ballot papers for Governor, Woman Representative, and Senate elections have arrived in the country, most of them touching base at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on July 18.
Ballot papers have been printed for each of the 19.6 million voters, with about 200,000 more printed above the number of registered voters.
On Monday, IEBC ruled out the possibility of ballot stuffing with Commissioner Akombe saying measures have been put in place to ensure extra ballots are not misused.
“We’ve made it clear to all our officers that we shall be doing ballot count at three-hour intervals and that must be consistent with the voter turnout reported by the KIEMS gadgets,” she said at a forum on election preparedness convened by Mkenya Daima under the auspices of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
The materials also contain special marks that can only be seen in ultraviolent light and serialised to guard against irregular use in polling centres other than those they are meant for.
Political parties fielding presidential candidates also sent their representatives to observe the printing process which was supervised by Al Ghurair’s General Manager Lakishmanan Ganapathy.