A magistrate’s court has ruled that former Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman James Oswago together with the Deputy Commissioner Wilson Shollei have a case to answer in regards to election malpractices.
Star reports in a ruling by Anti-Corruption magistrate Felix Kombo, the prosecution proved that the duo failed to comply with procurement laws relating to the purchase of electronic voter identification devices that were used in the March 4, 2013 general elections.
Ultimately, this means that the duo now have a case to answer to defend themselves against the charges leveled after 36 witnesses testified.
According to documents presented in court, Oswago and the Deputy Commissioner failed to ensure that the changes made to the contract awarded to Face Technologies Limited by the IEBC for the supply of Electronic Voter Identification in Tender No. IEBC14/2011-2012 were approved by the IEBC tender committee.
In February this year, Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji had ordered the courts to hold Oswago and 3 others over the irregularities in the procurement of Voter Identification Devices (VIDs) worth Sh1.3 billion.
This was in reference to the 2013 General Elections, with the case detailing the procurement of 30,000 VIDs.
Taking to Twitter, the DPP had stated that the prosecution led by Vincent Monda had told the court that Face Technologies Limited used in the tender was to procure 30,000 VIDs but was instead asked to procure both VIDs and laptops without giving prior information to the committee.
Prosecution urges court to hold former IEBC CEO James Oswago & 3 others liable for procurement irregularities in Sh1.3B voter identification devices tender. #2013GeneralElections #AntiCorruption_ODPP #ElectoralOffences_Prosecution pic.twitter.com/RO5prlQuMo
— ODPP_KE (@ODPP_KE) February 25, 2020
Oswago was charged alongside former deputy secretary in charge of support services Wilson Shollei, finance and procurement director Edward Karisa and acting procurement manager Willy Kamanga.
“These failures were mainly managerial human in nature as the commission had major challenges, with time being a major constraint in a tight electoral calendar,” a commissioner who testified in the case was quoted.
The two, Edward Kenga Karisa and Willy Gachanja Kamanga have however been acquitted by the court after the magistrate indicated that no case had been made against them.