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Daily Nation : February 25th 2014
8 | National News ELECTIONS | Due process was followed in awarding contract to Face Technologies, court hears IEBC ‘ignored poll kits warning’ Electoral agency’s ICT boss tells court advice on electronic devices was not taken seriously BY PAUL OGEMBA @PaulOgemba email@example.com gadgets used in the last general election, a court heard yesterday. IEBC director for Information and T Communication Technology Dismas Ong’ondi testified that he raised concerns regarding the Electronic Voter Identification Devices (Evid) supplied by Face Technologies Limited, but his advice was not taken seriously. Reduced quantity “After evaluating the devices and the short time limit before the polls, I advised the commission to cancel the tender for the supply of the devices and explore other options, but I did not get any response,” he said. Mr Ong’ondi said that he further advised the commission to explore the possibility of borrowing the devices from other countries or accept a reduced quantity of the devices, but that too was not heeded. “I also questioned the network capability, which the company said they he electoral commission disregarded a warning over the possible failure of electronic PAUL WAWERU | NATION From left: Lawyer Ian Maina with IEBC boss James Oswago and deputy commission secretary Wilson Shollei, who are on suspension, at the High Court in Nairobi yesterday. Inset: The poll agency’s ICT director, Mr Dismas Ong’ondi. could not guarantee due to the time limit. My recommendation was that the commission takes a progressive approach to electronic voting starting with the use of the BVR laptops,” Mr Ong’ondi said. He was testifying in a case in which suspended IEBC boss James Oswago is charged with various counts over the procurement of electronic devices worth Sh1.3 billion for the March 4, 2013 General Election. The CEO is accused of abuse of office and failing to comply with procurement rules. His co-accused are suspended deputy IEBC secretary in charge of support services Wilson Kiprotich Shollei, finance director Edward Kenga Karisa and procurement manager Willy Gachanja Kamanga. The charges were recommended by the Supreme Court last April on conclusion of a petition by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, challenging the election of President Kenyatta. Competing interests The judges said it was likely that the procurement of the electronic systems was marked by competing interests involving impropriety or even criminality at the IEBC. However, Mr Ong’ondi testified that the process of awarding the contract to Face Technologies was properly followed and that there was no impropriety in the tender bids. He added that success of the elec- tronic voter system could have been achieved if the project had started earlier and that the failure of the Evid project was a collective responsibility of the tender committee. The hearing resumes today. WHAT’S ALLEGED Charges against four top officials The four are accused of abuse of office and failing to comply with procurement regulations. They are accused of failing to ensure that changes made to the contract awarded to Face Technologies Limited for supply of Electronic Voter Identification Devices were approved by the commission. They are also facing another count of failing to inspect and confirm that the devices supplied by Face Technologies were in good working condition. DAILY NATION Tuesday February 25, 2014 BRIEFLY MOMBASA Infants’ health at risk as mothers take drugs A relief agency has raised the alarm over drug abuse in Coast, saying even children born of mothers who use drugs were at risk of inheriting the effects. The Kenya Red Cross Society secretary-general Abbas Gullet said that even infants were born with drugs in their systems and urged the government to act swiftly and curb the menace before it gets out of hand. “I am not shy as a Kenyan coming from this region to say this is a problem of enormous proportion and as a nation, we cannot push it under the carpet any more,” he said. NYERI Recruit ‘hid stolen phone in underwear’ A Nyeri court yesterday heard that a police recruit hid stolen phones in her underwear. Sharon Ntaloishi is facing charges of stealing a Nokia phone worth Sh6,500 on June 28, 2013 at the Kiganjo Police Training College. She is also accused of hiding a BlackBerry phone that she had earlier given a colleague on June 29, 2013 at the college. According to a witness, the police recruits had gone for running exercises at 4am when the phones were stolen. The case will next be heard on March 20.
February 24th 2014
February 26th 2014