NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 14-The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has expressed optimism it will be ready for the General Elections set for August despite the legal hurdles on the procurement of goods and services.
In February, the High Court is set to hear two consolidated cases by petitioners Stephen Mirambo and Boaz Akuru on the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS) kits and printing of ballot papers
Vice-chairperson Juliana Cherera however assured that the electoral body despite this will deliver a tamper proof process for the benefit of Kenyans.
“With procurement I think we are in a good place there is no cause for alarm. In Procurement of goods and services we are at a good place the only hanging issue is the issue of ballot papers and technology which is still active in court,” she stated.
In every electoral cycle, tender wars have haunted the polls agency and threatened to derail the process.
Both the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS) and ballot papers printing are two integral components of the election and a delay in procuring the two could affect the quality of the exercise.
Cherera stressed that the commission is working in earnest to avoid the scenario prior to the 2013 and 2017 polls where some equipment arrived a day after the exercise.
IEBC’s plan was to have procured the printing of ballot boxes and acquisition of technology to run Kenya’s transition elections in August 2022, twelve months to the election date.
“This is the first month of 2022 so if the court concludes the cases fast enough, we are able to procure and deliver the goods and services to the polling situation. We are working day and night to ensure things are done,” she stated.
Kiems kit tender include supply, delivery, installation, testing, commissioning, support and maintenance of software and hardware equipment and accessories for the running of the election and a winner of tender would need time to prepare and ensure no gaps that could lead to the challenge of the polls.
The transmission of results is key to the electoral process and in 2017 caused the nullification of the presidential election based solely on the issue of transmission.
Several companies are challenging the awarding of the tender to supply Kiems kits to Dutch firm Smartmatic and the ballot printing tender awarded to a Greek firm – Inform P Lykos Holdings.
Already, the tender to print ballot papers for the August 9, 2022, General Election is being fought at the Court of Appeal by disgruntled suppliers.
Inform P Lykos Holdings had been picked from a pool of 12 firms that bid for the supply of ballot papers.