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Economy

IEBC turns to UN agency to deploy poll gadgets

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati. FILE | SALATON NJAU | NMG
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati. FILE | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has turned to the United Nations agency to procure election materials and oversee deployment of transmission gadgets that were at the centre of the Supreme Court judgment.
The IEBC said United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will finance the procurement under a partnership dubbed “strengthening electoral process”, which it has been running with the electoral agency.

The IEBC is awaiting Treasury’s advice on the UNDP deal as Parliament is expected to pass a supplementary budget that cut the repeat poll budget to Sh10 billion from the initial Sh12 billion.

“The UNDP has in accordance with this agreement offered to procure ballot papers and results forms,” IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati says in a letter to political parties.

Public confidence

“This assistance is meant to aid more public confidence and trust in the integrity of the ballot papers and result forms to be used in the fresh election as well as address the concerns raised by the Supreme Court,” added Mr Chebukati.

The electoral agency says it had a two-year deal with Dubai-based firm Al Ghurair, which was last year awarded the Sh2.5 billion contracts to print ballot papers.

Mr Chebukati did not respond to questions on whether Al Ghurair will be part of the deal.

The Supreme Court annulled the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta on September 1, citing irregularities and illegalities in the transmission of results, and ordered a repeat election within 60 days.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who petitioned against Kenyatta’s win, has said he will not participate in the re-run scheduled for October 26 if the elections board picks Al Ghurair and French digital security firm OT-Morpho for the repeat poll.

Two systems

The French firm provided two electronic systems that identified voters and transmitted election results in the August 8 poll.

Mr Chebukati said due to time constraints, the IEBC has opted to retain the services of OT-Morpho/Safran to manage the ICT and the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS).

“The Commission will use both a cloud server and a back-up platform, which have to adhere to the international best practice,” said Mr Chebukati.

“The commission will embed technical experts from the UN and the commonwealth and political party-appointed experts into the electoral ICT team.”

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