‘Chickengate’: Shollei turns heat on Oswago

Ms Shollei insisted she was not summoned as a suspect.

Friday March 11 2016

Former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei addresses the press outside Milimani Law Courts after she was charged with abuse of office, on August 25, 2015. She was a deputy chief electoral officer in the Interim Independent Electoral Commission. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei addresses the press outside Milimani Law Courts after she was charged with abuse of office, on August 25, 2015. She was a deputy chief electoral officer in the Interim Independent Electoral Commission. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAMUEL KARANJA
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Former Judiciary Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei on Thursday denied involvement in the “Chickengate” scandal and instead turned the heat on former electoral commission boss James Oswago, saying he was in charge of procurement.

Ms Shollei, who was quizzed by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission detectives from 8am to 11am, insisted she was not summoned as a suspect but to shed light on emails exchanged between officials of the now defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) and British printing firm Smith and Ouzman.

In the emails, some commissioners and former IIEC staff were mentioned as having asked for kickbacks, code-named “chicken” from Smith and Ouzman during procurement of ballot papers for the Shinyalu, South Mugirango and Bomachoge by-elections and the 2010 referendum.

“They wanted information relating to the so-called ‘Chickengate’ scandal,” she told journalists after leaving the anti-graft agency offices in Nairobi.

“I explained that when I was in the electoral commission, I was involved in election operations, voter registration and voter education. Procurement, finance and human resources fell under the CEO,” said Ms Shollei, who was a deputy chief electoral officer in the IIEC.

Mr Oswago has already been questioned by the commission and has maintained he is innocent. Ms Shollei said she wrote to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office asking it to investigate once the matter was reported in the media two years ago.

“They wrote back and confirmed that I was neither a co-conspirator nor an indictee. They went further to give me a list of co-conspirators and indictees and I confirmed that my name was not there,” she said.

Ms Shollei accused the EACC of “playing to the gallery by parading innocent people here.”

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