Firm challenges cancellation of IEBC tender
Published on: March 23, 2017 06:52 (EAT)
The South African firm, Gemalto, that had been awarded the Ksh3 billion IEBC tender to supply, deliver, install and commission the Integrated Elections Management Systems (KIEMS) has challenged the Commission’s move to cancel their tender. In a letter dated 22nd March 2017 addressed to IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba, Gemalto Vice-President Charles Mevaa said that the firm could still deliver within set time frames. “Gemalto SA has full capacity and commitment to work with the commission in order to mitigate the effects of litigation on the tender process and surmount the strict time frames,” read the letter in part. In a letter to the South African company dated March 21, 2017 that had reached the tender valuation stage, IEBC, through the CEO Ezra Chiloba, cited budgetary and time constraints for the cancelation. In its termination letter, the commission indicated that the law requires the technology to be in place by 10th of April this year and the commission should as such have had it by end of March for use on 10th May. Thus: “…The Commission has lost important lead times due to litigation over the tender…” said Chiloba. Gemalto has, however, refuted this insisting that: “ We do have a track record of successful deliveries of large scale projects including election related solutions within challenging lead times”. The poll body, IEBC, had, however, in their letter cited substantial technological change, saying: “…The Commission considered that the scope of technology requirements had changed following the recent conclusion of the mass voter registration drive. Therefore there would be no value for money to retain the voter registration component in KIEMS at present…” Gemalto responded to this saying that the voter registration drive was conducted using a similar technology as the register, which does not fundamentally or substantially alter the technology. The poll body had on December 16 last year advertised a tender to procure KIEMS but was later challenged twice before the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), thus informing the commission’s decision to stop the process altogether. Speaking to the press on 28th February 2017, the poll body further accused unnamed firms and individuals pursuing tender wars of attempts to derail the August 8 election process. “We shall not accept to be held captive by firms or individuals pursuing tender wars to the detriment of credible, free and fair elections,” said Chebukati. “This system is critical for the success of the 2017 General Election. It is urgently required to be in place by March to be used for the voter verification process that shall commence on May 10 as per the law,” added Chebukati. There have already been concerns on the voter verification process with political parties warning they were watching and only a free and fair process would be acceptable to Kenyans. The opposition has, however, termed the move as an excuse to use a manual system during the General Election, warning that they will not accept a return of a manual system of voting and transmission of results by the IEBC. The National Super Alliance led by ANC Deputy Party Leader Kipruto Arap Kirwa said the cancellation of the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System is a threat to credible polls on the 8th of August. In a statement Kirwa claims the move is part of a wider conspiracy to compromise credible elections. IEBC Communications Director Andrew Limo now says the commission will issue a comprehensive statement on the matter on Tuesday next week.