Ex-IEBC CEO James Oswago Found Guilty Over Chickengate Scandal

  • Former IEBC CEO James Oswago
    A file photo of former IEBC CEO James Oswago
    File
  • Former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Oswago has been found guilty.

    Oswago was on Monday, December 5, ordered to pay Ksh7.5 million fine or spend four years in jail after being found guilty over the irregular award of a Ksh1.3 billion tender for the supply of voter materials in the 2013 General elections.

    The anti-corruption court magistrate Felix Kombo also found former Deputy IEBC Commissioner Wilson Shollei guilty of a similar offense. 

    A file photo of former CEO James Oswago
    A file photo of former CEO James Oswago
    File

    The ruling came after a 9-year-long trial after the two were arraigned and charged in 2013 with failing to comply with the law relating to procurement.

    According to the case details, the two allegedly failed to ensure the changes made to the contract awarded to Face Technologies Limited by IEBC were approved by the Commission's tender committee. 

    The changes were made to the contract for the supply of Electronic Voter Identification in Tender No. IEBC14/2011-2012.

    Oswago had in 2020 distanced himself from himself over the 2013 Ksh1.3 billion voter identification devices tender scandal.

    This was after the Anti-Corruption court had found that the former IEBC boss and deputy commissioner Wilson Shollei have a case to answer in relation to abuse of office charges.

    On a different count, the two were accused of using their offices to improperly confer a benefit on Face Technologies Limited.

    This was after they approved payment of Ksh1,397,724,925.51 for the supply of EVIDs without ascertaining that the devices supplied were inspected, accepted, and met the technical specifications in the contract.

    The Chickengate Scandal was bribery for contract malpractice that occurred when a British printing firm, Smith & Ouzman Ltd, paid kickbacks of up to Ksh50 million to secure contracts for the printing of Kenya’s ballot papers and examination certificates.

    Evidence tendered in a UK court showed that the directors of the company and conduits for the money used the code word “chicken” for the bribes they paid out. 

    Oswago joined the IEBC in 2009 when it was still known as the Interim Independent Election Commission (IIEC) and resigned in 2013 at the peak of the "Chickengate" scandal. 

    During his reign as the CEO, the Commission's chairman was Isaak Hassan.

    Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Ezra Chiloba
    Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Ezra Chiloba
    Courtesy
    abuse corruption