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Court extends suspension of IEBC ballot tender award

The High Court on Wednesday extended orders suspending the award of a Sh2.5 billion ballot papers tender to a Dubai-based firm.

Justice George Odunga directed that the order should remain in force until January 19 when parties in the case will appear again in court for another hearing on the matter.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) wants the case in which the judge, on Monday, suspended the award to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company struck off.

According to IEBC, the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board’s decision to award the tender was done according to the law.

Through lawyer Anthony Lubulella, IEBC said that the suit challenging the award had been filed without any complaints taken before the Review Board as per the law hence the case should be struck out.

He accused parties in the suit of hiding important details and having illegally obtained orders to stop the tender award after a contract had already been signed.

“A case brought to court for judicial review by a person who did not submit any grievance before the PPARB but who only wants to participate as an interested party in the suit is improper,” he said.

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) had on Monday sued the IEBC and the Review Board.

Al Ghurair Company and Paarl Media limited are listed as interested parties in the case.

Through lawyers James Orengo and Antonny Oluoch, Cord argued that the contract was unlawfully awarded contrary to the Election laws as well as the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act.

But in the case documents, IEBC also argued that the suit had been filed way out of the time limit to raise complaints over that award and that it was merely an attempt to politicise the matter and cause undue delays.

“This case is an attempt to confuse the court and to greatly prejudice the Review Board which is under strict legal timelines to prepare for the forthcoming General Election. Public policy and interest is against the grant of any orders in such a matter,” Mr Lubulella said.

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