IEBC boss now plans to sue Auditor General over BVR kits report

Nairobi, Kenya: The head of Kenya’s electoral commission is ready to sue the Government auditor over a special report on the controversial procurement of biometric voter registration (BVR) kits last year.

The machines, alongside electronic voter identification devices, failed spectacularly during the March 4, General Election. Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan wants the Auditor General Edward Ouko to delete his name from the special audit within 10 days, or face legal proceedings.

Hassan alleges through his lawyer Donald Kipkorir that Ouko never gave him a chance to defend himself before submitting the report to the National Assembly last week.

“Our instructions are that in default of the said expunge within ten days from the date hereof, we proceed to the High Court to seek appropriate reliefs. For avoidance of doubt, our client wonders why you could visit and interview people in over 19 locations locally and abroad, and not interview our client who shares the same building with you,” reads the letter by Kipkorir to Ouko.

The document is copied to the Chief of Staff and Head of the Civil Service Joseph Kinyua, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) boss Mumo Matemu.

Single sourcing

The special audit by Ouko’s office recommended that Hassan, suspended IEBC Chief Executive Officer James Oswago and former Finance Minister Njeru Githae take responsibility for the unclear strategy, planning, budgeting and execution of the March 4, 2013 General Election.

The report has also blamed Hassan for influencing the single sourcing of the kits, after he allowed Canada’s First Secretary for Development Tim Colby to sit in a meeting discussing a government-to-government procurement option. The report was tabled in the National Assembly by Majority Leader Adan Duale last week.

Ouko also accused Oswago of mismanaging the BVR tender, leading to a more expensive government-to-government procurement. Oswago is currently under suspension after being charged in court over the BVR kits and electronic voter identification devices that largely failed during voting.