By now you must have heard about what could just turn out to be one the biggest corruption scandals in this country. A scandal involving Kenyan election officials and a British Printing company Smith & Ouzman that had been contracted to supply election materials ahead of the 2013 General elections. According to an expose published by the Business Daily, United Kingdom prosecutors have filed in court loads of written evidence implicating senior Kenyan election officials in what has been termed as one of the best documented international corruption networks in Kenya’s history. Interestingly, the corruption ring includes Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan who has always been on record dismissing any corruption allegations that have previously been leveled against the commission. Smith & Ouzman is said to have paid millions to IIEC officials to win printing tenders ahead of the hotly contested last General election.
The scale of the corruption alleged by the prosecution according to the UK prosecutor Mark Bryant-Heron is worth £349,057.39 which amounts to Sh50 million back here in Kenya,”
For many of the printing contracts the expose says costs were inflated by up to 38 per cent. UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) after investigating the matter revealed that top IIEC officials, the predecessor of IEBC, asked for bribes using the code name ‘chicken’ to facilitate Smith & Ouzman's to win seven tenders to supply election materials. Materials such as ballot papers, voter registration forms, voter ID cards and nomination forms. Davis Chirchir, the current Energy Cabinet Secretary in the Jubilee government who also worked as a senior manager at the IIEC when these deals were being conducted has also been mentioned as one of the beneficiary of this damning scandal. Suspended IEBC chief executive James Oswago, former Judiciary registrar Gladys Boss Shollei (deputy CEO), lawyer Kennedy Nyaundi (commissioner), Kenneth Karani (senior procurement officer) and the finance director also top the list of the people who ate this ''chicken''. Smith & Ouzman was single-sourced by the IEBC to print ballot papers and supply other electoral materials ahead of the March 2013 General Election, and now this scandal now puts the integrity of IIEC into question. The same Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is now asking for Sh200 million from the government for voter registration. Well, now you know. Read more of the detailed expose here