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IEBC could be forced to restart election preparations - Chiloba

Tuesday February 14 2017

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission CEO Ezra Chiloba. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

JOHN NGIRACHU
By JOHN NGIRACHU
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Preparations for the next elections could be thrown into jeopardy because of the ripple effect of a ruling annulling the award of a Sh2.5 billion tender for printing ballot papers, the chief executive of the electoral commission has said.

In a series of tweets Monday night, hours after the ruling by Justice George Odunga, Ezra Chiloba suggested the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission could be forced to restart preparations for the elections.

“Basically what Odunga judgment means is that all decisions made by IEBC in the last three months were null and void,” Mr Chiloba tweeted.

He said that from his reading of the 145-page judgment by Justice Odunga, it would have “huge implications for next elections.”

Mr Chiloba said this would affect decisions made by the IEBC from October 6, 2016 - decisions on by-elections, ballot papers, audit, staffing, Kenya Integrated Election Management System, registration, ICT regulations and others.

All these, he said, were effectively null and void.

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There is already another case against the award of the contract to audit the voters’ register to KPMG while the procurement of the election management system was allowed by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board.

The case against the award of the contract to Al-Ghurair had been filed by the Opposition coalition on the basis that the action was contrary to the Election Laws (Amendment) Act.

“It was unreasonable for IEBC to proceed with the award of tender without taking into account the new regulations,” Justice Odunga ruled.

Mr Chiloba appeared to criticise the basis of the Odunga judgment, saying: “Fundamental departure from public sector governance practice is the idea that board members should be engaged in procurement activities.”