IEBC cancels election technology tender over legal battles
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has canceled a tender to procure election transmission technology known as the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) that was to be used for voter verification process.
Addressing the press, IEBC chair, Wafula Chebukati, said that the poll body is instead exploring alternative measures.
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The reality that 161 days to the polls has the IEBC hard pressed for time to deliver with protracted legal wars threatening the ability of the commissioners to meet their set out timelines for the General Election.
The poll body is now accusing unnamed firms and individuals pursuing tender wars of attempts to derail the August 8 election process.
“We shall not accept to be held captive by firms or individuals pursuing tender wars to the detriment of credible, free and fair elections,” said Chebukati.
The poll body had on December 16 last year, advertised a tender to procure KIEMS but was later challenged twice before the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) thus informing the commission’s decision to stop the process altogether.
“This system is critical for the success of the 2017 General Election. It is urgently required to be in place by March to be used for the voter verification process that shall commence on May 10 as per the law,” added Chebukati.
There has already been concerns on the voter verification process with political parties warning they were watching and only a free and fair process would be acceptable to Kenyans.
The poll body has also complied with a High Court order that nullified a 2.5 billion shilling tender awarded to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing, based in Dubai for the printing of ballot papers.
“In view of these developments, the Commission has decided to re-advertise the tender for the ballot papers, election results declaration forms and poll registers.”
The alternative measures to be pursued could include improving technology that is already at hand, such as the use of BVR and EVID systems, or explore single sourcing, if IEBC to meet set timelines.