Chiloba on the spot over millions paid for free voter kits

IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba. FILE PHOTO | NMG
IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chief executive Ezra Chiloba unlawfully paid Sh25.9 million ($432) for 600 electronic identification kits that were delivered to Kenya free of charge.

Former IEBC secretariat officials James Oswago and Betty Nyabuto said on on Monday they refused to pay the money to Face Technologies for extra electronic voter identification devices (Evids) that were delivered to replace faulty ones ahead of the March 4, 2013 General Election.
The IEBC had bought 30, 000 Evids and later revised the contract for additional 4,000 kits with a provision for 600 for free.

“I refused to pay because Face Technologies invoiced for 4,600 kits instead of 4,000 kits that the commission ordered over and above the 30,000 it had already procured.

The 600 was meant to replace broken ones because the company had no local service and did not provide a warranty,” Mr Oswago told the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

“For two years, Face Technologies was not paid until Mr Chiloba arrived and paid within three months in office.”

Ms Nyabuto, who separately appeared before MPs, denied making payments saying the matter was subject to an audit conducted jointly between the commission and the Treasury.

PAC, chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, is investigating the procurement of 34,000 Evid kits that the commission  procured from Face Technologies at a total cost of Sh1.4 billion ($16,651,139).