JUNE 14, 2017
NASA PRESS STATEMENT:
AWARD OF TENDER TO AL GHURAIR PRINT AND PUBLISHING COMPANY LTD:
Further to the statement by our presidential candidate Hon. Raila Odinga yesterday with particular reference to the awarding of the ballot printing tender to Al Ghurair Print and Publishing Company Limited of Dubai, we wish to make the following observations:
It has become abundantly clear that the awarding of the tender was influenced by President Uhuru Kenyatta, in collusion with some technical staff at the IEBC. The President cannot be the procurement manager in chief for IEBC.
We have established that the CEO of this firm Mr. Aziz Al Ghurair is an intimate friend of the Kenyatta family and a frequent guest at the home of Mr. Muhoho Kenyatta. In fact, Mr. Muhoho is the local contact for Al Ghurair and possibly a shareholder in the firm.
Information in our possession indicates that the Chief Executive Officer of the IEBC Mr. Ezra Chiloba and director of Election Operations and Voter Registration Immaculate Kasait were the contacts for State House in the decision to award to the tender unprocedurally and illegally to Al Ghurair.
We have established that President Kenyatta summoned the IEBC CEO to the State House meeting where Mr Aziz was present as head of a Dubai business delegation.
Mrs. Kasait on her part is clouded in numerous integrity issues. She reports on a weekly basis to State House where she gives status update to Head of Public Service and Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua.
Mrs. Kasait is also a member of a Jubilee-leaning organization known as the Mt. Kenya Foundation which operates from the Parklands area. The activities of this foundation are shrouded in mystery.
The offices of this organization is accessed only by President Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, Mrs Winnie Guchu, Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, businessman Chris Kirubi, former Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir and former Chief of Chief of Genral Staff Joseph Karangi. Kasait provides frequent updates on the state of affairs at IEBC to this group.
Only a few months ago, Mrs Kasait hired close to 20 temporary employees for her department, all of them from one ethnic community. These temporary employees have been deployed work on the register.
From the foregoing, it is clear that these two senior IEBC officers, CEO Ezra Chiloba and Mrs Kasait are currently the single most serious threat to the holding of a free and fair election on 8th August 2017. These two should immediately step aside and investigations should be commenced into their conduct and tenure at the IEBC.
We want President Uhuru Kenyatta to come clean on his and his family’s links with the Dubai firm and state his interests in the contract that the firm was awarded.
The interest in our view is clear. The President and his Jubilee team are looking for a firm that can supply extra ballot secretly as was the case in 2013.
In our view, the Chairman of the Commission and his fellow Commissioner’s must exert their Constitutional authority to reign in the rogue elements in the Secretariat as recommended by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on issues affecting the Commission.
Al Gharair, although being a multi-billion dollar outfit, has not been involved in the supply of election materials in established democracies. Their portfolios include engagements in countries like Afghanistan and Libya.
Elsewhere, in Zambia and Uganda, they have ended their engagement under dark clouds of acrimony and dissatisfaction. They have a reputation as a user friendly supplier of election materials to incumbent governments. Influence peddling is part of their tools of trade.
In these circumstances the only option for IEBC is to cancel this tender and award it in accordance to the law to any other reputable international printers that are not associated with any stakeholder in the next election. Let IEBC not tell us that we are running out of time.
The country has in the past always conducted nominations three weeks to voting day and this has always been sufficient time for printing of ballot papers to be completed.
The issue of delay is only an excuse to create a crisis to justify the giving of this tender to Al Gharair.