Raila demands cancellation of printing tender

Orange Democratic Movement presidential candidate Raila Odinga on Tuesday demanded the cancellation of the Sh2.5 billion tender for the printing of ballot papers that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has awarded to a Dubai company.

He, however, denied press reports that he would go to court to stop the printing of ballot papers.

On Tuesday, he termed as ill-advised and unfortunate the re-award of the tender to the Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing company and demanded its cancellation.

“There appears to have been a clear determination by the IEBC to award this tender to the Dubai-based firm no matter what,” Mr Odinga said at the National Elections Conference at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi on Tuesday.

He said: “It is not too late for the IEBC to do the right thing for the sake of the country and we demand that IEBC does the right thing”.

Mr Odinga roped in the Jubilee leadership in the contracts, saying owners of the company had contacts with Jubilee officials for at least three years.

“Owners of this firm hosted senior Jubilee officials in Dubai in February last year, when the ballot printing tender was discussed,” he said.

LAST YEAR

He said that the company’s officials later came to Kenya in October 2016 as part of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce where further discussions were made.

But in a swift response, Deputy President William Ruto accused Mr Odinga of frustrating the IEBC through court cases, saying he was not ready for the elections.

“He first asked for the removal of the IEBC commissioners, then opposed the auditing of the voters’ register and now he is opposing the printing of ballot papers. Is he really ready for this election? Is he?” the DP said in Makutano in West Pokot during the Jubilee tour of the area.

Press reports said Mr Odinga had already instructed lawyers James Orengo and George Oraro to block the printing of the 120 million ballot papers.

Contacted, however, Mr Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango, said he was not aware whether the Nasa candidate would go to court to challenge the tender.

“What I know is that he remains opposed to that tender,” Mr Onyango said.

Additional reporting by Jeremiah Kiplang’at and Oscar Kakai.

IEBC holds mock election

Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto wrap up North Rift tour