High Court strikes out presidential ballots tender - VIDEO

Court refuses to bar future engagement between IEBC, Al Ghurair

The High Court has ordered the electoral commission to advertise a new tender for printing presidential poll ballots.

However, Dubai-based Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company will proceed with the printing of ballots for other races, judges Joel Ngugi, John Mativo and George Odunga said on Friday.


In their judgement, the judges faulted the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (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.

The judgement is a big victory for the National Super Alliance (Nasa) and its presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga who had opposed the tender award, citing conflict of interest.

Mr Odinga's alliance had argued the award to Al Ghurair favoured the incumbent 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 judgement, saying Nasa relied on newspaper cuttings to prove the claim yet paper cuttings are not admissible in law.

President Kenyatta's Jubilee had supported IEBC's defence and the verdict has also dealt a blow to the ruling party.

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.


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