The former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chief Executive Officer James Oswago has been sentenced to four years’ imprisonment over corruption in relation to the procurement of Sh1.3billion voter identification devices in 2013.
At the same time, former Deputy Commission Secretary in charge of Support Services Wilson Kiprotich Shollei has also been sentenced to a similar term for the tender scam involving procurement of Electronic Voter Identification Devices (EVID) for the March 4, 2013 General Elections.
Chief Magistrate Felix Kombo, said the two failed to comply with the law relating to procurement when they procured electronic voter identification devices for the 2013 General elections.
They were found guilty of abuse of office and failure to comply with the law relating to procurement.
The court found that Oswago and Shollei failed to ensure that the changes made to the contract awarded to Face Technologies Limited for the supply of Electronic Voter Identification were approved by the IEBC’s tender committee.
“The court has considered the challenges associated with elections. But elections must be handled with care. Oswago and Shollei were not faithful to the procurement process leading to a crisis,” said the magistrate.
He ruled that the two, being officers whose functions concerned the management of public revenue, jointly and willfully failed to comply with the law relating to the procurement of goods according to section 47 of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act and Regulation 31 of the Public Procurement and Disposal Regulations.
Their actions resulted in faulty biometric voter register kits supplied by Face Technologies Limited and failed to function in various parts of the country during elections.
“Failure to conduct inspection had consequences to the general election. They would have ensured the kits met all the specifications and the supplier delivered the right quantity and in the right schedule,” the court ruled.
In mitigation, the convicts told the court to consider that though there were procurement irregularities no money was lost in the process.
The magistrate however gave them an alternative of paying a fine of Sh7.5 million each noting that Oswago and Shollei were the first offenders and had cooperated with the investigators and prosecutors during the court trial.