IEBC Sued Over 2022 Ballots Tender

  • EBC Chairperosn Wafula Chebukati addressing a crowd on Oct 22, 2018
    EBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati at a conference held on October 22, 2018
    File
  • Activist Okiya Omtatah has lodged a legal battle against the independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) accusing it of withholding information about tendering of the 2022 general election ballot papers.

    Omtatah in his filed appeal claims there is a plot by IEBC to award the contract to De La Rue Kenya and EPZ Ltd without following the laid down procedures of tendering.

    The two companies won the tender in 2019 and Omtatah in his court papers wants the renewal halted. He filed the petition at the High Court on Friday, June 25.

    IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and President Uhuru Kenyatta at the IEBC National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, August 11, 2017, when Uhuru was announced winner of the presidential election.jpg
    IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and President Uhuru Kenyatta at the IEBC National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, August 11, 2017, when Uhuru was declared winner of the presidential election.jpg
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    Omtatah claims IEBC has violated the public procurement rules that require all public entities to advertise their tenders through the Public Procurement Information Portal. According to his submission, the deal between IEBC and the two companies has already been signed.

    “Contrary to its obligations under the law to publish the information, the commission has refused to release the copies of the two contracts which it holds yet the petitioner requires the information to defend the rights enshrined in the constitution,” Omtatah's suit papers read in part. 

    The activist further argues the matter is extremely urgent because the contracts of the two disputed firms are close to hitting their expiry date and a perfect scheme has been crafted by IEBC to extend them to cover the supply of the 2022 general election ballot papers.

    The electoral agency got into a working contract with De la Rue and EPZ on October 31, 2019, signing a restricted tender deal. In the deal, the companies were required to supply and deliver forms 35A.

    A second tender deal was signed on September 20, 2019, which required the firms to deliver ballot papers, statutory forms and register of voters.

    Omtatah List of Demands

    Omtatah wants the court to halt the process where IEBC is planning to renew the contracts of the two firms. He also demands the commission to release information as to who participated in the restricted tender which had been floated initially.

    He also wants to know why IEBC insisted on awarding the contract to De la Rue which had not shown interest to take up the restricted tender when it was floated in 2019.

    Omtatah wants all the information from when the tendering process started including minutes of the meeting released.

    He wants full information of the prices quoted by the firms, the cost of the supplies under direct procurement, copies of the notification and acceptance letters for the two tenders.

    Human Rights Activist Okiya Omtatah during a past court session.
    Human Rights Activist Okiya Omtatah during a past court session.