Electoral agency chairman Wafula Chebukati has defended former Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba in the matter of the Sh6 billion direct procurement of voter identification and results transmission kits.
The Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kits were used for both the August 2017 general election and the repeat presidential election in October that year.
Appearing before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee, Mr Chebukati said the decision for direct procurement was approved by the commissioners in the plenary meeting.
“An election was coming up so we had to make a decision. Under the circumstances, there was no room for other options,” Mr Chebukati told the committee chaired by Ugunja member of parliament Opiyo Wandayi.
The chair of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) told the lawmakers that the commission had a plenary meeting in March.
He said that in this meeting, the secretariat presented many papers on issues of procurement of election materials.
He noted their oversight role but said they had no role on issues of procurement.
“The role of the commission is policy formulation, strategy and oversight. We told the secretariat to go ahead with procurement but in accordance with the law,” Mr Chebukati said.
The remarks by the chairman contradict those of acting CEO Marjan Hussein who told the same commission on Tuesday that Mr Chiloba single-handedly procured the voter kits.
Mr Hussein said the decision was not approved by the plenary and that Mr Chiloba made it on his own.
“The procurement was discussed in the plenary but the meeting did not approve direct procurement,” Mr Hussein said .
He explained that in the plenary, the commissioners only approved the procurement plan at the IEBC but that all the details were handled by the former CEO.
The electoral commission spent Sh4,196,300,000 on the 45,000 KIEMS kit used in the August 8 poll and another Sh2.5 billion for the repeat poll on October 26.
By Daily Nation