• In 2013, Oswago and Wilson Shollei were charged with failing to comply with procurement laws.
• The two allegedly failed to ensure the changes made to the contract awarded to Face Technologies Limited by the IEBC for the supply of Electronic Voter Identification were approved by the agency's tender committee.
The electronic voter identification devices for the 2013 General Election were procured late following rigging claims by ODM, former IEBC chief executive has said.
James Oswago told an anti-corruption court that they attended a meeting at Grand Regency in the presence of ODM leader Raila Odinga, Wiper's Kalonzo Musyoka (Cord presidential ticket), URP's William Ruto and Narc-Kenya's Martha Karua where the commission communicated it could not procure due to timelines.
“We told them we cannot proceed owing to time conflicts. But they said we wanted to rig elections. That is why we ended up procuring late. There was no sufficient time for the vendor to deliver,” he said.
In 2013, Oswago and Wilson Shollei were charged with failing to comply with procurement laws. The two allegedly failed to ensure the changes made to the contract awarded to Face Technologies Limited by the IEBC for the supply of Electronic Voter Identification in Tender No. IEBC14/2011-2012 were approved by the agency's tender committee.
On a different count, they were accused of using their offices to improperly confer a benefit on Face Technologies Limited by approving payment of Sh1,397,724,925 for the supply of EVIDs without ascertaining that devices supplied were inspected, accepted and met the technical specifications in the contract.
The court in May this year put the two on their defence and acquitted Edward Kenga Karisa and Willy Gachanja Kamanga.
Oswago on Tuesday told magistrate Felix Kombo that it was not his role to inspect the goods. He added that they finished procuring in December 2012 and the elections were in March. This made it impossible for necessary parties to inspect all tasks involved in the tender within the remaining four days, he said.
“A procurement of such magnitude required an international tender, which requires six months bearing in mind the advertising factor. The last gadgets were delivered on February 28 yet the elections were to be held on March 4,” he added.
Oswago dismissed claims by the prosecution that he approved changes to the signed contract for the gadgets. According to the contract, 30,000 gadgets were to be procured but 34, 600 were delivered.
“The signed contract was 30,000 but the situation on the ground was that we required more. The 34,000 was arrived at during deliberations of the commission. And it was not my decision as Oswago. The extra 4,000 was a collective decision arrived at by all of us,” he said, adding that the addition was made in good faith.
He was, however, opposed to the outsourcing of the additional 4,000 gadgets because the commission had new Del computers in their possession.
Oswago, according to his defence, was of the idea that they reconfigure the machines they had in store rather than outsourcing for the additional 4.000.
Defence hearing continues on Wednesday.
Edited by EKibii