Al Ghurair to print ballots for October election despite NASA protests

The Opposition wants the Dubai-based firm out of the equation

Al Ghurair Printing_COURTESY
Al Ghurair Printing & Publishing, Company, Dubai. PHOTO: COURTESY has learn that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will contract a controversial firm to print ballot papers for the repeat presidential election scheduled for October 17.

IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba, said during a live television interview on the night of Wednesday, September 13 that Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Llc, will supply the material for the poll after the August 8 one was nullified by the Supreme Court.

Raila Odinga
NASA leaders Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Raila Odinga (ODM) at the Supreme Court, August 28, 2017. PHOTO: JACK OWUOR/THE STAR

The commission was given the responsibility by the court to hold a fresh presidential poll in sixty days over widespread irregularities and illegalities in the last month one.

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Chiloba who has been tasked by IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati to head a team assigned to manage the repeat elections, said the commission had entered into a two-year contract with Al Ghurair to supply voting materials.

The revelation come on the back of Raila Odinga and his allies protesting the involvement of the Dubai based firm claiming it has previously colluded with IEBC to print excessive ballots in favour of the the incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Opposition even went to court in the run up to the August 8 General Election so as to have the Al Ghurair tender terminated amid claims that it had links with State House and so should therefore been stopped from printing election materials. The court disagreed.

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Chiloba said in the same interview with NTV that the nullified election was the “best managed” in the continent despite the shocking decision by the Supreme Court.

“We tried as much as possible to work within the constitution but some petitioners were not happy and went to the Supreme Court which found our work was wanting. We did our best, deployed resources in a way that we wanted to have a credible process,” he noted.

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Chiloba who is under pressure from Nasa to quit office said he will not succumb adding the focus should shift from individuals to whether the country will be ready for elections come October 17.

He denied claims that the August 8 election was completely flawed saying the IEBC was yet to determine the extent of the illegalities and irregularities as the full Supreme Court ruling which voided the election is not yet out.