IEBC warned against taking team to monitor ballot printing

Monday June 19 2017

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale addresses MPs during the leadership summit at Serena Beach Hotel and Spa in Mombasa on February 11, 2017. He wants IEBC to be transparent on how Al Ghurair won the ballot printing tender. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By LEONARD ONYANGO
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The Jubilee Party on Sunday warned the electoral commission against taking a delegation of presidential candidates to monitor the printing of ballot papers by a Dubai-based firm.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said the move by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is against the law.

Addressing journalists at Jubilee Party headquarters in Nairobi when they received a group of youth who defected from ODM, led by Mr Antony Kibagendi, Mr Duale said the move was a clear indication that IEBC’s independence is questionable.

“Under what law is IEBC picking representatives from the civil societies and political parties to go and monitor the printing of ballot papers in Dubai? It is anchored nowhere in the law,” the MP said.

UHURU LINKED TO FIRM
He told IEBC to come clean on the ballot printing tender that was awarded to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing that has ruffled feathers among Nasa leaders.

The Opposition claims that owners of Al Ghurair are close allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and there is a possibility that State House influenced the awarding of the tender.

IEBC, on Wednesday, moved to instill confidence among the players by announcing that the agency would send a monitoring delegation to Dubai to witness the printing of the ballot papers.

DELEGATION
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said the delegation would include representatives of all eight presidential candidates, a representative from the civil society, three representatives from the media, a representative from the Inter-religious Council and a representative from the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba was yesterday quoted by the Sunday Nation as saying the commission would make public the list of stakeholders who will be heading to Dubai.

According to Mr Chiloba, the consignment of ballot papers is expected in the country between June 25 and August 2.

On Thursday, Nasa and Jubilee announced that they would not send representatives to Dubai in a trip scheduled for June 22.

Nasa has threatened to challenge in court IEBC’s decision to award the Sh2.5 billion tender to the Dubai company.