By Moses Njagih and Peter Opiyo
A new tender board trying to resolve the crisis over the Sh3.9 billion voter registration kits contract for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission met until late Wednesday evening as concern mounted over the impact of the standoff.
By the time we went to press, there was no word on whether the matter had been resolved, as the new team that replaced the former group led by Ms Praxedes Tororey remained tight-lipped.
Wrangles over the tender forced the resignation of the initial board as IEBC sought to fast track the tendering process. The row over the purchase of the 9,750 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits has sent fresh fears of delays in the electoral process, with the IEBC bosses admitting registration of voters, which was to take off in mid-next month will now be pushed to early September due to the imminent delay in acquisition of the kit.
Wednesday evening, sources told The Standard that the new tender board headed by Immaculate Kasaiti was still scrutinising the shortlisted tenders before making an announcement.
“The team has been meeting the whole day, but I think the earliest they can announce the winner is tomorrow (Thursday),” said the source at the IEBC.
The delays in acquisition of the BVR has led the IEBC to revise its earlier programme for the elections.
The delay has been occasioned by a standoff at the IEBC, where vested interests in the lucrative deal sparked infighting.
At the centre of the controversy was the recommendation by the former committee to award the tender to a company that had quoted a price above IEBC budget, and which was ranked third of four companies shortlisted
Questions were raised after the Tororey committee recommended that Face Technologies, which had quoted Sh4.78 billion, be granted the tender. Their quotation was over Sh810 million above the Sh3.97 billion IEBC budget for the kits.
Face Technologies’ quotation was higher than that of 4G Identity Solutions who quoted Sh3.72 billion and Africa Symphony at Sh3.85 billion.
Only On Track Innovations, with a quotation of Sh8.22 billion, had tendered a higher figure than Face Technologies.