Uhuru heads to Turkana as IEBC meets Raila, six others

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto head to Turkana County, two days after they postponed the tour following the death of Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery.

As the UhuRuto duo campaign in Turkana, Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga and six other presidential candidates will meet the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to decide on how to pick a firm to print the presidential election ballot papers following Friday’s High Court ruling on public participation.

The President and Mr Ruto will start their Turkana meet-the-people tour by addressing residents at Kakuma before proceeding to Lokitaung.

From Lokitaung, the President, his deputy and other Jubilee leaders will head to Lodwar Town where he will address a public rally before wrapping up his tour in Lokichar.

MEET IEBC

Meanwhile, Nasa said Sunday that Mr Odinga will lead their team in the meeting with the IEBC at the Hilton Hotel, planned for 10am, but which the commission has since moved to 2pm.

The Jubilee team will be represented by party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju and National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale.

In the meeting, the IEBC will seek to get the seemingly impossible sides to agree on how to pick a firm after Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga and John Mativo quashed the award of the tender to Dubai-based Al-Ghurair.

The first delivery of all the 120 million ballot papers for all the six elective seats has to start by July 25, and the last batch on August 2 according to IEBC plans.

PRINT BALLOTS

Al-Ghurair had planned to print the presidential election ballot papers by July 18, following the start of the printing of the ballots for the five other seats, and which the court allowed to continue, from last month.

And with only nine days to the set July 18 deadline, the IEBC will Monday be walking on a tightrope to get an almost impossible consensus in picking a new firm, getting them to order the not-readily available security papers for printing in five days, and ensuring that the last batch is in the country by August 2 in readiness for the polls five days later.

Thirdway Alliance Kenya presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot, having been enjoined in the case against the Dubai firm, argued that the court should only annul the printing of the presidential election ballots as printing for the other seats was not contested.

PROCUREMENT

In a meeting with the IEBC last month after the commission picked Al-Ghurair in a direct procurement to print the 120 million ballot papers, Dr Aukot proposed the use of the United Nations to print the ballots, saying they had shown past experience.

In their ruling, the judges said the public participation was not only related to the presidential candidates.

“We must point out that while we cannot tell IEBC how to fashion its programmes of public participation, the commission must be clear that the right to be involved, which we have held is a corollary to the exercise of Article 38 rights of the citizenry, are owed to Kenyans and not just to declared presidential aspirants,” the judges said in the landmark ruling.

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