IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati has defended Smartmatic International Holdings, maintaining the deal with the Dutch firm was above board.
In a statement dated July 26, the Commission detailed that Smartmatic International beat five other firms to win the lucrative contract in 2021.
Mr Chebukati further defended the involvement of the Kenyan firm, Seamless Limited, stating they are working with the Dutch company to provide critical technology required during the forthcoming polls.
“One of the conditions in the tender document was that the bidder should provide a detailed support and maintenance plan and attach documentary proof of ICT technical support staff with a local registered office in Kenya. Smartmatic complied with this condition by providing a local partner in the country,” the IEBC statement read in part.
At the same time, Chebukati justified the arrival of election materials seized at the airport, including stickers: the Venezuelan nationals were arrested in possession at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
“For easy identification of the KIEMS kits, Smartmatic is required to provide stickers to aid in labelling each of the kits for purposes of packaging and dispatch to all polling stations. The deployment of the KIEMS kits is currently underway.
“It is important to note that the stickers are non-strategic election materials. The stickers were printed based on the details of the gazette notice published on July 1 2022,” IEBC explained.
The Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI) George Kinoti had called out IEBC for not being mean with the truth about the activities of the three foreigners, challenging him to put his house in order.
The DCI also claimed that the two Venezuelans were not Smartmatic officials and had travelled to the country with expired passports.
IEBC in their statement argued that the Venezuelans were contracted to help in the ICT sector and deployment of KIEMS kits.
KIEMS kits are set to be used to identify and verify voters come August 9. The system requires voters to use their fingerprints (biometrics) for identification.
IEBC Chief Executive Officer Marjan Hussein Marjan explained that in case the KIEMS kits fail to work, the commission will use the Alphanumeric search- where the voter’s identification number (ID) will be scanned on its backside and use it to retrieve their true identity from the KIEMS kits.