City dweller wants court to stop IEBC tendering for kits

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021 00:05 |
A new elector registers at the IEBC registration centre in Mvita sub-county during the ongoing voter registration exercise. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

By BerniceMuhindi

A Nairobi resident has sued the electoral agency over a tender for installation of Kenya Integrated Elections Management System and Hardware Equipment for 2022 General Election.

Stephen Mirambo wants the court to bar the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission from signing a contract or further dealing in any manner whatsoever with Smartmatics International Holding B.V, the firm that was awarded the tender on November 3.

Through lawyer Jared Mituga, the petitioner contends that the tender and the tendering process was in obvious contravention of the Constitution.

Economic loss

 “Unless this court intervenes urgently, the country risks incurring heavy political, financial and economic loss and the public’s right to free and fair elections and other constitutional rights will be compromised irredeemably,” he says in court documents.

He argues that the tender document floated by IEBC, did not provide for preference margins in favour of local or citizen contractors as stipulated by the Constitution and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, thus limiting rather than promoting local participation, equity, fairness and inclusiveness, transparency and accountability.

It is his contention that IEBC failed and neglected to conduct public participation and further failed to engage all relevant stakeholders in the process.

“This would help in obtaining an election management system that will cure defects of the elections transmission process that resulted in the nullification of the presidential elections in 2017,” he argues in court documents.

Mirambo says IEBC is under an immutable duty to prepare and conduct next year’s election with the highest level of accountability and transparency.

He contends that he is apprehensive that having not addressed the data management and transmission problems and the challenges that led to nullification of the 2017 presidential election, the commission is proceeding without prudence in violation of the Constitution.

“This has the potential of plunging the country into an unprecedented crisis and huge financial and economic loss,” he says.

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