IEBC loses appeal on nullified ballot papers tender


Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission (IEBC) has lost the appeal of the 2.5 billion shillings nullified ballot papers tender which had been awarded to a Dubai-based firm for printing.

While delivering the ruling, the three judge bench said that the applicant is at liberty to participate in the fresh tender previously ordered by Justice George Odunga.

Judge Wanjiru Karanja who delivered the ruling on behalf of the bench said that if the stay order sought by IEBC is granted, it might interfere with the approaching General election date and the necessary preparations that the commission should undertake.

Justice Odunga had ruled that the tender, which was awarded to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company to print 130 million ballot papers, had failed to comply with the Election laws.

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

Justice Odunga directed IEBC to begin a fresh tendering process which adheres to the applicable laws but IEBC said its preparations for the elections had been thrown into confusion even as it put on a brave face to assure Kenyans that it was determined to conduct fair and free elections.

The case had been filed by Cord against IEBC and the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board.

The electoral body had opposed Cord’s application, saying the case had been filed way out of the time limit and that it was merely an attempt to politicize the matter and cause unnecessary delays.

Cord had, however, maintained that the specification of the ballot papers, declaration forms and poll registers as contained in the tender documents were not in conformity with the requirements of the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2016 and the integrated electronic electoral system as established by law.

The award of the tender had previously been challenged by a losing bidder who lodged an appeal before the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board citing irregularities in one of the most sensitive tenders in the electoral process. But the application was dismissed.