The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has issued a detailed statement defending its contract with Smartmatic International holdings.
This comes after the police impounded election stickers from three Venezuelans said to be election technology experts contracted by the electoral body. The trio was intercepted at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The three were found with 17 rolls of electoral stickers among other election materials
Investigations conducted by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) revealed that the foreigners were in the country for personal business with one Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed, who has emerged as a businessman running Seamless Limited, a local agent of Smartmatic.
Additionally, the Venezuelans had allegedly travelled using expired passports.
IEBC however issued a statement on Tuesday defending its contract with the Smartmatic firm and shed more light on the matter after a spat with the DCI and the National Police Service (NPS).
IEBC defends Smartmatic
In the statement dated July 26, the electoral body maintained that it selected Smartmatic technology company, in a competitive bidding process, to provide technology during elections.
"The commission entered into a valid legal contract on 25th November 2021 with M/s Smartmatic Inmternational Holdings B.V for the supply, delivery, Installation, testing, commissioning, support and maintenance of the Kenya Integrated Election Management system (KIEMS)," IEBC stated.
"During the competitive bidding process, Smartmatic was found to have achieved the highest technical and financial score among the 5 bidders and was awarded the contract. The contract is being implemented at a cumulative project cost ofKsh3.2 billion. The award of the contract was contested at the Public Procurement Adminstrative Review Board (PPARB), the high court, the constitutional court and the court of appeal. However, the commission's decision was upheld in all the court cases,"
Update to the nation on deployment of technology in the 2022 General Election #GE2022 pic.twitter.com/HdRZvDd9bQ— IEBC (@IEBCKenya) July 25, 2022
IEBC says stickers are non-strategic election materials
They further explained the role of the stickers confiscated by the police.
In their defense, the Chebukati-led commission stated that the stickers played an important role in labeling the kits for the purposes of packaging and dispatching to polling stations.
"It is important to note that the stickers are non-strategic election materials. The stickers were printed based on the details of the gazette notice published on July 1, 2022," the commission added.