IEBC sacks procurement boss over ballot tender delay

Tuesday June 06 2017

IEBC procurement director Lawy Aura tries to calm bidders for election materials during the opening of tenders in Nairobi on November 17, 2016. Mr Aura has been fired over delays in procuring election materials. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The electoral commission has fired procurement director Lawy Aura, accusing him of incompetence that “made operations untenable” ahead of the August General Election.

Although the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) released the details of his sacking on Tuesday morning, chairman Wafula Chebukati, in a statement, said Mr Aura was fired on May 29.

Mr Aura was blamed for delays in procuring ballot papers that will be used in the August 8 polls. The electoral agency said Monday morning the procurement of the papers was being addressed.

ICT director axed

Mr Aura was shown the door just two days after a reported stormy meeting resolved to send the agency's ICT director, James Muhati, on a 30-day compulsory leave.

Mr Muhati was sent on compulsory leave on May 27 following accusations that he had refused to cooperate in an ongoing audit of the voter register, which has about 20 million names.


On Mr Aura, Mr Chebukati said in the statement that the commission had noted with “deep concern” the growing anxiety with the ballot procurement “in particular the bidding process and ultimate selection of the supplier.”

Reduce delay

“The Commission on 29 May 2017 relieved the procurement director Lawy Aura of his duties necessitated by incompetence that has made operations untenable as we fast approach the General Election,” Mr Chebukati said in a statement.

He went on: “We have noted with great concern the growing anxiety associated with the ballot procurement. The Commission is addressing the issue of the procurement of ballot material with utmost urgency.”

Mr Chebukati said the commission was making “every effort in reducing the delay in the selection of the supplier and we will inform the nation of our options soon.”

“We will continue to engage all political actors and in utmost good faith as we proceed with the procurement of the ballot material and other processes,” the IEBC chairman concluded.