Key observations by the Thirdway Alliance Kenya
• We were not able to establish how many ballot papers had been printed prior to the due diligence visit.
• We were not able to get a confirmation from IEBC and the Printer that the ballot paper pallets will be sealed and neither did they confirm if there will be an ‘end-to-end’ visibility and tracking system deployed.
• We were not able to determine how IEBC will deal with outstanding ballot papers that could find their way in to the ballot boxes and the remedy when reconciling ballot paper count if the numbers did not tally with the un-used ballot papers, cast ballot papers and spoilt ballot papers.
• We did not count the number of ballot papers, take note of serial numbers of each constituency and we were not shown all the 290+ pallets ready for export. No one in the due diligence delegation can tell for sure how many pallets and how many ballot papers are in each pallet.
Thirdway Alliance Kenya presidential candidate, Mr Ekuru Auko. PHOTO/FACEBOOK
By ABDULHAKIM SHERMAN
Ninety-five percent of the printing work for the presidential ballot papers in Dubai by Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC of UAE had already been completed and packed by the time media and observers reached the printing press on July 2017, Thirdway Alliance Kenya presidential candidate, Mr Ekuru Aukot, has said.
Mr Aukot said no agent supervised the printing of 95 percent of the presidential ballot papers and they could therefore not tell if there was no mischief.
“By the time the observers reached the printing press at 3pm on 27th July 2017, about 95% of the printing work for the Presidential Ballot Papers had been completed and packed in various pallets ready for export to Nairobi,” he said.
Mr Aukot said there were no modalities to count or even estimate how many ballot papers had been printed and a rough count revealed there were less than 70 constituency pallets in the warehouse when they expected, at least, 250 pallets if indeed, 95 percent of the work was complete.
“The presidential ballot papers are packed in Constituency pallets, and where the constituency exceeds a meter in height, a second pallet is introduced. In total therefore, there should be at least 300 pallets ready for export,” he added.
All Kenyans expect IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and CEO Ezra Chiloba to conduct free, fair, transparent and democratic elections. PHOTO/COURTESY
Mr Aukot noted that their purpose of going to Dubai was to count the ballot papers and not to see the printer’s impressive technology and they were yet verify at least how many pallets will be coming to Kenya.
Thirdway Alliance Kenya candidate said the printer reported, under instructions from IEBC, that it had printed the required presidential ballot papers including an extra 1 percent for every constituency to cater for inadvertently spoilt votes should a voter request an extra ballot paper.
He said IEBC commissioners present were tasked to explain the rationale of adding 1percent of the ballot papers and up to what extent they can allow a voter to request extra ballot papers in the event the voter inadvertently spoils the first vote.
“The Printer indicated that all the printing work will be completed by midnight of 27th July 2017 and the papers shipped to Kenya from Sharjah Airport in two charter flights. One departing on 30th July and the next on 1st August 2017,” he added.
Mr Aukot said the printer and IEBC were requested by Thirdway Alliance agent to ensure that they implement a tracking system with ‘end to end’ visibility to monitor the freight movement from the printer in Dubai to the Constituency headquarters where the pallet will be opened. There was no commitment from IEBC or the Printer that this will be implemented.
Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka have said they expect nothing short of free, fair, transparent and democratic elections. PHOTO/COURTESY
He revealed that the printer and IEBC were also requested by the Thirdway Alliance Agent to seal all the pallets with a serialized seal from the printer’s premises of which the party agents at the constituency headquarter would confirm before breaking the same, but there seemed to be a lot of resistance to get this implemented.
He note that the printer promised to explore the possibility and revert back citing that they have never sealed any pallets with security printed material.
“Thirdway Alliance therefore concludes that much as we are impressed by the printer’s capacity, quality and security features in the Presidential Ballot Papers, there remains serious gaps that can compromise the credibility of the 2017 Presidential General Election,” he said.
Mr Aukot requested the IEBC to urgently and seriously consider the issues they raised in a concerted effort to ensure Kenya holds a free, transparent and credible
election on 8/8/2017.
“At the very minimum, the due diligence team should count and confirm the exact number of ballot papers printed, the number of results forms, serial numbers for each
constituency and a physical count of the number of pallets being exported to Nairobi
from Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC,” he said.
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