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IEBC invites bids for supply of poll materials

NATIONAL
By Moses Nyamori | July 15th 2021
A IEBC official sorts voting materials at Mogweko Vocational Training Center, Nyaribari Masaba in Kisii County [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

The electoral agency is procuring electoral materials in readiness for next year's General Election and a possible referendum.

Yesterday, in an advert, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) invited international tender bids for a contract that will run for three years to supply election and referendum declaration forms, ballot papers, voter registry among other electoral materials.

The commission will also advertise for local bids for by-elections next week, chairman Wafula Chebukati disclosed.

Already, there exists a court ruling halting preparations for the planned plebiscite, And Mr Chebukati explained that the international tender for ballot papers will run for three years, and taking into account the strict timelines for the exercise, the winner will supply for the same.

Some of the materials in the Sh6.8 billion tender are for the General Election next year.

“IEBC invites sealed tenders for the supply and delivery of ballot papers, voter registry, statutory election result declaration forms to be used at the polling station, election and referendum result declaration forms to be used at the constituency, county and national tallying centre on a three-year framework contract,” states the advert.

It adds, “Tendering will be conducted under open international tendering method using a standardised tender document. Tendering is open to all qualified security printing firms.”

Firms seeking to supply the commission will have their tenders accompanied by a Sh20 million security valid for 210 days from the date of opening the tender.

“Tender security should be in the form of a bank guarantee. All payments are made to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission,” states the advert.

A High Court bench comprising Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka, and Chacha Mwita had in May declared the planned referendum through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) as illegal, null and void.

The ruling has since been challenged in the Court of Appeal, and the appellate court directed the IEBC not to engage in any preparations for a possible referendum until the matter is determined next month.

Yesterday, Chebukati explained that the three-year contract was basically for the delivery of items for the General Election.

“All ongoing procurement is in preparations for the General Election. The winning company will have a three-year contract,” he said.

The commission's boss said that in the event the court will rule in favour of pro-BBI, the commission will have at least 90 days to prepare.

However, former IEBC commissioner Thomas Letangule, faulted the decision to tender for the voter register to be printed by an international or external company. "To tender for voter register I think is not good because you are submitting it to a foreign company and the safety of the register may become compromised, anyone can tamper with it," he warned.

Recently, Chebukati said money allocated to the commission was for the elections, suggesting that there was none for a referendum.

BBI secretariat last week told the IEBC to begin preparing for a possible referendum.

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