Hassan also downplayed the reported tensions in the commission between himself on the one hand and Oswago, under whom IEBC is in the process of employing two deputies, on the other.
However, Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa, though in agreement with the decision to cancel BVR tender, suggested IEBC could hire BVR kits from Ghana, which is currently using the system, and is considered a superior nation in Africa in the conduct of elections.
Hassan explained the BVR tender turned ‘murky’ following seepage of “vested interests” his team, which he feared could taint the image of the electoral body and undermine its credibility.
“Whichever bidder you pick there will be an issue. Vendors have been viciously fighting among themselves through the media over the process,” said the chairman.
Other than cleaning the voter register, Oswago said the commission would employ ‘randomisation’ where electoral officers are posted to areas they are not familiar with, at short notice to avoid collusion during voting. He said political parties would be accorded opportunity to audit voter register to ensure its integrity.
IEBC cancelled the tender after a due diligence team reported none of the two lowest bidders had complied with the requirements. The process was also politicised, especially with unverified claims that the company that was in the final process of being re-appraised before being given the tender was linked to an influential Party of National Unity activist.
Kasarani MP Elizabeth Ongoro supported him. “I beg the commission to re-look at this issue and fast track the procurement to get us BVR ... let us not allow anybody to influence results,” pleaded the MP.
IEBC explained it would now use Optical Mark Reader (OMR) system for voter registration, which is a special scanning device, which can read markings on a document and electronically store the data.
Gachoka MP Mutava Musyimi and Nominated MP Amina Abdalla sought the truth about perception there was bad between Hassan and Oswago, but the two blamed the media for the view.
Oswago argued this was perception that had been created and the less it was talked about the better for the commission.