IEBC admits fraud in poll materials procurement

IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba when he appeared before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]
There could have been irregularities touching on transportation of poll materials in 2013, the electoral agency has said. 

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba made the revelation when he appeared before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Monday. 

The Opiyo Wandayi-led team is probing audit queries amounting to over Sh5.4 billion.

“We commissioned an internal process to establish the irregularities touching on transportation of election materials. Based on documents presented by the Auditor General there was fraud if there are no facts to counter them,” said Mr Chiloba.

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It emerged that IEBC irregularly paid Sh50,487,440 to a company that was registered in 2014, purporting that it was contracted to transport election materials in 2013.

Questionable acquisitions

The company – Alhamdul Company – later requested to be paid through another firm, Alhamdah Hardware. The request was done by a Mr Abdullahi Yussuf.

Taxpayers’ money may also have been lost in the procurement of electoral technologies at Sh1.7 billion as well as Sh50 million spent on transporting poll materials where truck owners were paid Sh460,000 for every single day.

Former IEBC Chief Executive James Oswago is facing charges relating to some of the questionable acquisitions.

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IEBC Director of Voter Registration Immaculate Kassait requested the committee for more time to get further details.

“These audit queries were raised three years ago and you are here telling us we give you more time to provide details,” observed Mr Wandayi who is also the Ugunja MP.

Chiloba’s team was also hard-pressed to explain why it paid transport companies an additional Sh46,496,478 as waiting fees.

Auditor General Edward Ouko, in his report, said there was no value for money obtained on the acquisition of 34,000 electronic voter identification devices, which failed on the voting day.

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iebc2013 electionezra chilobafraud in pollNational Assembly Public Accounts Committee