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Kits were not inspected, says IEBC official

COUNTIES
By By FRED MAKANA | February 28th 2014

By FRED MAKANA

The poll kits used during the March 4 General Election were not fully inspected before they were dispatched to various polling stations, the ongoing trial of four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission officials was told Friday.

Director of ICT Dismas Ong’ondi informed the court that IEBC’s CEO James Oswago was supposed to appoint representatives to all committees but the committees were supposed to remain independent and devoid of any influence once in office.

While being cross-examined by Oswago’s lawyer Jotham Arwa on the third day of the proceedings,  Ong’ondi informed the court that it was not his role to ensure the devices were inspected before being moved from the IEBC warehouse in Kasarani.

He said it was the responsibility of the user department and the inspection committee to ensure the Electronic Voter Identification Devices (Evid) were fully functional.

“It was not my role to oversee the inspection of the gadgets. There is a clear procedure on the Public Procurement and Disposal Act about the inspection of public goods,” Ong’ondi said.

The director of ICT told acting Chief Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo that the last batch of the kits arrived in the country on February 28, last year, three days to the election and it was impossible for the gadgets to be fully inspected. When asked by the defence as to who was take criminal responsibility in case the gadgets did not function as envisaged, Ong’ondi said any officer was responsible but administrative responsibility rested with the CEO.

Ong’ondi defended himself against accusations by the defence that he is the one who created confusion at IEBC, making it impossible for the commission to carry out some of its functions.

He said IEBC’s failure in the last General Election was due to a number of factors as outlined in an affidavit he filed during the presidential petition at the Supreme Court. Hearing continues Friday.

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