•Chebukati, while updating Kenyans on the status of technology deployment, appeared to clear the air on the confusion surrounding the role of stickers in the coming polls.
•This comes after three Venezuelans were nabbed with stickers for polling stations in 10 counties raising eyebrows about the credibility of the electoral process.
IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati has said stickers are not strategic election materials.
The IEBC boss, while updating Kenyans on the status of technology deployment, appeared to clear the air on the confusion surrounding the role of stickers in the coming polls.
This comes after three Venezuelans were nabbed with stickers belonging to 10 counties raising eyebrows about the credibility of the electoral process.
The three are Jose Comargo Gregorio, Joel Gustavo Rodriguez Garcia and Salvador Javier Sosa Suarez.
Chebukati in a statement seen by the Star on Tuesday gave the commission's perspective on how the stickers came to be and the exact role they play in the coming polls.
He said the stickers were printed based on the details of the gazette notice published on July 1, 2022.
"For easy identification of the KIEMS kits, Smartmatic is required to provide stickers to aid labelling each of the kits for purposes of packaging and dispatch to all polling stations," the IEBC boss said.
"The stickers contain information on the polling station, polling centre, ward, constituency and county as well as a unique barcode."
Chebukati's statement came nearly 48 hours after DCI boss George Kinoti released a detailed statement exonerating the National Police Service (NPS) from fault for confiscating election materials found in the possession of the three Venezuelans.
Kinoti had given what appeared to be a blow-by-blow account of intrigues that led to the arrest of three Venezuelans and confiscation of what Chebukati termed as "key electoral materials".
The DCI boss was responding to the accusation by Chebukati that the NPS had withheld key materials belonging to the commission and which were held by the three foreigners.
Kinoti today (Tuesday) has a date with the three Venezuelans where he expected to grill them on the saga.
In his statement Tuesday, Chebukati failed to address several questions raised by Kinoti in his Sunday statement.
The IEBC boss instead focused on the background information of the contract between the IEBC and Smartmatic Holding limited.
He explained the tendering process and how Smartmatic ended up winning the Sh3.2 billion deal that has recently become the subject of debate among Kenyans.
"During the competitive bidding process, Smartmatic was found to have achieved the highest technical and financial score among the 5 bidders and was awarded the contract," Chebukati explained.
"The award of the contract was contested at the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB), the High Court, the Constitutional Court and the Court of Appeal. However, the Commission’s decision was upheld in all the court cases."
The IEBC boss now says they have acquired 55,100 KIEMs kits which will be used across the country.
Of those, 46,229 kits will be deployed in various polling stations in the country, a process Chebukati says has already begun.
In this year's elections, polling stations were reduced by four following the merging of 7 polling stations into three in the Kimilili constituency in Bungoma county.
"Each kit is being loaded with Electronic Voter Identification and Results Transmission System softwares, SIM cards of network operators as well as SD cards containing registered voters’ biographic and biometric data for each polling station."
Six additional kits will be deployed in each county Assembly ward to serve as backup.
Despite the latest controversy, the IEBC boss has assured Kenyans of free, fair and credible polls.