By Wakajuaness Team
“For free and fair elections, public participation in the direct procurement process was important.” ~ Judges
National Super Alliance’s quest for free and fair elections got a major boost as the court through into disarray a Jubilee Party-defended Al Ghurair Company’s tender to print the ballot papers.
In the ruling today, Jul 7 – The High Court quashed the award of the tender for printing of ballots for the August 8, 2017 presidential election to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company.
Three-judge bench considered the hearing of a judicial review filed by the National Super Alliance (NASA), found that the Interim Electoral and Bounderies Commission (IEBC) failed to conduct adequate public participation, which is against the constitution.
Justices Joseph Mativo and George Odunga found that for free, fair elections, public participation in the direct procurement process was important.
“We order that the the electoral body starts the procurement process for printing of election materials for presidential elections scheduled for August 8 to ensure free, fair and transparent elections,” read Justice Joel Ngugi.
However, the court dismissed NASA’s argument that President Uhuru Kenyatta influenced the award of the tender to the Al Ghurair firm due to lack of evidence.
The Opposition NASA had argued during a hearing Friday last week that IEBC had acted illegally by failing to consult political players before opting to contact the printing firm through direct procurement.
Though it’s lead lawyer and Siaya Senator James Orengol, NASA argued that a visit to State House by Majid Saif Al Ghurair influenced the award of the tender to the printer company.
The duo also faulted IEBC’s decision to meet representatives of Jubilee and NASA at the exclusion of other parties fielding presidential candidates.
Although NASA was pushing for the counselleation of the ballot paper printing tender, Jubilee Party was backing the electoral body.
It’s not clear if IEBC is going to appeal the Appeal Court’s ruling at the Supreme Court with only 30 days to the elections.