BY MARTIN MUTUA
The decision was reached following a meeting between top Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ( IEBC) officials and the two principals, President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
The meeting resolved to resolve the crisis sparked by cancellation of a Sh3.9 billion biometric voter registration (BVR) kit by securing similar equipment from friendly states that have adopted the system.
To this end, the Government has been tasked to negotiate with other states to acquire the equipment in record time for the elections.
Confirming the new developments, IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan said in a statement last evening the Government had agreed to procure a BVR kit on their behalf.
Although he did not name the likely source, countries such as Germany, Canada and India have used the system successfully, as has Ghana.
The meeting at the President’s Harambee House office that lasted over three hours was also attended by, among others, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Attorney General Githu Muigai, Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa and the Chairman of the Committee on Implementation of the Constitution (CIOC) Mr Abdikadir Mohammed.
“However, the acquisition of BVR kits was frustrated by cumbersome procurement laws and procedures, political and vendor rivalry. In addition, the Elections Act, imposed strict timelines for the closure of the registration process, that is, 90 days before the election date (4th December, 2012),” he added.
Hassan further noted that after lengthy deliberations at the meeting, they requested that the kits be procured through a government-to-government arrangement.
“We are glad to inform Kenyans that the Government has accepted the Commission’s request and has committed to procure and deliver the kits on time for the exercise,” he added.