Nasa wins ballot papers case as court orders IEBC to re-advertise tender
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) suffered a major blow on Friday after the High Court ordered it to re-advertise the tender for printing of ballot papers for the presidential vote.
The court, however, allowed Dubai-based security printing firm Al Ghurair, to continue printing ballots for other races including governor, senator, MP, Woman Rep and MCA.
The judges said there was no public participation in the initial tender, which was unfair to some presidential aspirants.
The verdict is a big win for the National Super Alliance (Nasa) which had filed the suit.
Mr Raila Odinga’s Nasa had argued the award to Al Ghurair favoured President Uhuru Kenyatta, his arch-rival in the March 4, 2013 and now August 8, 2017 polls.
Al Ghurair, Nasa claimed, had close links with Mr Kenyatta, the first family and senior people in the Jubilee Party.
However, the judges dismissed this allegation in their judgment, saying Nasa relied on newspaper cuttings to prove the claim yet paper cuttings are not admissible in law.
In their judgment, the judges Joel Ngugi, John Mativo and George Odunga faulted the IEBC for failing to consult all candidates in the August poll before awarding the Sh2.5-billion tender to Al Ghurair.
The commission, the three-judge bench established, also did a shoddy job on public participation as required in law.
President Kenyatta’s Jubilee had supported IEBC’s defence and the verdict has also dealt a blow to the ruling party.
RACE AGAINST TIME
With only 31 days left to the General Election, IEBC will have to race against time to deliver ballots for the high-stakes election in which both Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta are battling for political lifeline.
Mr Kenyatta is seeking a second and final term while Mr Odinga is seeking to break the jinx that has seen miss State House three times.
IEBC on Thursday said Al Ghurair had executed over 50 percent of the work but printing of presidential ballots is yet to start.
The printer, the commission said, had been given the green light to print ballots for all races that did not have conflicts stemming from candidates’ list.
The judgement means Al Ghurair will miss only 19 million out of the 120 million ballots it was supposed to print and deliver to IEBC.