Politics and policy
IEBC blames vested interests for cancellation
Posted Thursday, August 2 2012 at 21:30
The electoral commission has blamed vested interests for the cancellation of the Sh3.9 billion Biometric Registration of Voters tender, saying it is focused on securing the credibility of next year’s elections.
Appearing before a joint parliamentary team, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Isaack Hassan said the Sh3.9 billion would go towards increasing the number of voter registration clerks to 50,000, two for each polling station.
He said the commission would also recruit 290 deputy registration officers, one for each constituency, after it fell back to the use of Optical Mark Reader (OMR) to register voters manually.
Mr Hassan, accompanied by chief executive officer James Oswago, said the tender for the 9,750 BVR kits that were to be used for registration of voters was cancelled because of constraints to conduct fresh BVR tendering process.
Although OMR was used during the 2010 referendum and in the by-elections that have arisen at the constituency and ward level, MPs expressed fear that the manual voter roll is prone to manipulation and could return the country to the 2007/08 post election violence.
“We will ensure that we deliver a credible register before elections,” Mr Hassan said as MPs blamed infighting at the commission for the cancellation of the electronic voter registration kit tender.
Legal Affairs committee chairman Njoroge Baiya asked the commission to look into ways of shortening the tendering process for procurement of a fresh tender for BVR, saying Justice Johan Kriegler’s report was clear that manual voter rolls caused the post-poll chaos.
Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa suggested that the commission explores other avenues, including borrowing the kits from Ghana or South Africa.
The commission cancelled the BVR tender on Tuesday after questions were raised on the capacity of the four shortlisted companies.
The commission disqualified 4G Identity Solutions which quoted the lowest figure of Sh3.7 billion after an advice from Foreign Affairs ministry indicated that the company had been blacklisted in India.
4G Identity Solutions has, however, claimed that it had been under pressure from some government officials to give a Sh30 million bribe to stay in contention of winning the tender.