Attorney General Githu Muigai
Sharp differences Friday emerged between Jubilee Party and National Super Alliance (NASA) in court on who should be contracted to print presidential election ballot papers.
Jubilee Party, presented by lawyers Fred Ngatia, Ahmednassir Abdullahi and Tom Macharia, argued that it was not bothered about who was to do the printing but the court should not force the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to re-tender.
According to the IEBC, if the case interferes with timelines set by the law, it will affect the logistics involved to ensure the ballot papers are available in time for the August 8 General Election.
“It will be a logistical nightmare to have two printers printing the ballot papers,” the electoral agency told judges Joel Ngugi, Joel Mativo and George Odunga.
Jubilee said the allegations raised by NASA did not have a basis and that allowing the public to participate in every tender would create a total mess.
“If we allow public participation in the tendering process, which is not in the procurement law, it means organisations will have to seek public views even when they are procuring stationery like biros,” argued JP.
NASA, on the other hand said it was bothered by Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Limited printing the papers.
Lawyers James Orengo and Jackson Awele argued that the fear raised through the media was enough suspicion that the elections will likely be unfair if the Dubai firm is allowed to print the ballot papers.
“The evaluation criterion was not favourable at all. We are not going to elections for the sake of it. The cancellation (of the tender) will not interfere with the election timelines,” the Opposition said.
The parties were giving their submissions in a petition filed by NASA, challenging the award of the ballot printing tender to Al Ghurair.
Although they admitted having met with the IEBC, the NASA lawyers told the court that their concern over the Dubai firm was not considered.
Attorney General Githu Muigai said if the tender is cancelled, Kenyans will likely not vote on August 8.