Opposition chief Raila Odinga has opposed the new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission tender for ballot paper printing awarded to a Dubai firm, Al Ghurair. Al Ghurair was awarded the lucrative tender to print 120 million ballot papers, election results forms and poll registers to be used in the August 8 polls.
Raila says the firm can’t be awarded the tender as it had links with Jubilee, doubting its credibility. "Owners of this firm hosted senior Jubilee officials in Dubai in February last year, when the ballot printing tender was discussed," he said during the National Elections Conference in Nairobi on Tuesday.
He further said that senior officials of the firm were in Kenya in October 2016 as heads of a business delegation on invite of Jubilee administration. "...they were brought by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce during which trip they held further talks on this contract with Jubilee officials."
"This development is ill-advised and unfortunate. This firm holds partisan political positions and all this has never been disclosed. The firm will undermine the credibility of the elections," he said.
He continued, "This casts a dark shadow, which could have been avoided, on the credibility of the elections. There appears to have been a clear determination by the IEBC to award this tender to the Dubai-based firm no matter what."
He called on the electoral body to consider awarding the tender to another firm whose credibility was not questionable.
"We have been victims before and are definitely concerned. It is not too late for the IEBC to do the right thing. We would like to see free fair elections in our country," he said.