NAIROBI – Nasa leader Raila Odinga is at the center of a political storm after Jubilee MPs implicated him in the direct sourcing of French-based technology firm OT-Morpho in 2012.
The legislators said Mr Odinga, who is against the firm providing the result transmission system for the repeat presidential poll, was actively engaged in the controversial government-to-government deal between Kenya and Canada for the procurement of biometric voter registration kits by the electoral commission for the 2013 General Election.
Most of the devices required for a fraud-free voter register and delivered by then Safran Morpho, however, failed on the election day, forcing the electoral agency to resort to manual voter identification.
Mr Odinga, who was a Prime Minister at the time, participated in the process in his capacity as the chairman of the Cabinet sub-committee that was formed to oversee the acquisition of the devices.
The MPs’ statement came a day after Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and former Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba said Mr Odinga introduced the company to the government before the 2013 poll.
“The Cabinet sub-committee that dealt with the 2013 election was chaired by Mr Odinga.
“CS Wamalwa who was part of the Cabinet has indeed confirmed it is Mr Odinga who introduced Safran Morpho as a reputable company,” Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Mr Wamalwa and Mr Namwamba had on Monday in Funyula, Busia County, said the firm was strange to Kenya until Mr Odinga introduced it.
“He (Raila) was the leader of the Elections Sub-committee, I was the justice minister.
“He ordered direct procurement of the technological kits because of time limitations. Mr Odinga himself said Safran was the best and was seconded by Mr Orengo,” Mr Wamalwa said.
Nasa MPs have also accused top Jubilee and electoral officials of receiving a Sh200 million bribe to award the tender for the August 8 elections to Morpho.
Mr Odinga has indicated there are about five firms Nasa is aware of that can supply the poll technology in 30 days.