Tender wars could derail election plans, agency says

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021 01:00 |
IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati. FILE PHOTO

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission yesterday warned that tender wars and related litigation risked derailing preparations for next year’s General Election.

This is after a ballot paper tender was canceled by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB) amid claims of tender wars and political interference.

IEBC had awarded a ballot paper printing tender to Greek firm Inform P Lykos Holdings.

Sources say a senior government official and former IEBC officials were scheming to delay the procurement of the tenders to pave the way for single sourcing and direct tenders for the multi-billion deals as it happened in the 2013 and 2017 elections.

Inform P Lykos Holdings had beat 11 companies to win a three-year open international tender that would have seen it also provide election and referendum results declaration forms.

The fights for the big tenders have in the past two elections defined the polls agency operations, ultimately leading to costly polls. Rushed tendering, tender cancellations and corruption have compounded the woes of the electoral agency which saw Kenya hold one of the most expensive elections in Africa estimated at Sh54.1 billion in 2017.

There are telling signs that the 2022 polls will go down as not only one of the most hotly contested but the most expensive ever.

When he appeared before the Justice, Legal Affairs and Human rights committee of the Senate, acting IEBC CEO Hussein Marjan defended the awarding of the tender to the Greek firm saying they had done due diligence and the company had delivered election materials for Nigeria.

“The IEBC evaluation committee visited the company and advised us that they can deliver. I am also aware that they did ballot papers for Nigeria, comparing Nigeria’s population and ours, then it’s obvious they can deliver,” Marjan said.

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