The ballot paper tender award process was beyond reproach-DP Ruto

The ballot paper tender award process was beyond reproach-DP Ruto

 BY JOAN WANJIKU/DPPS,6TH JULY 2022-Deputy President William Ruto has told off Azimio – One Kenya presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga for raising issues with the awarding of the ballot paper tender to Greek firm Inform Lykos.

During a campaign tour in Marsabit, Ruto called on Odinga to decide whether he wants to be a player or a referee in the August elections castigating him for attempting to interfere with the preparations for the exercise.

His statement came after after Azimio accused Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula of influencing and lobbying for the awarding of the tender to Lykos.

“Now they have started saying that they want to know who is printing the ballot papers. They have started saying they are ballot papers which will get into the country through Uganda and Ethiopia,” Ruto stated.

“You Kitendawili man (Odinga) have to make up your mind whether you want to be a candidate or a commissioner or a procurement officer,” he said.

The Kenya Kwanza Alliance Leader emphasized that the electorate are ready for the polls come August 9th and no intimidations to the poll agency will derail the polls.

Ruto warned Odinga against planning to boycott the general election by issuing irreducible minimums as it was witnessed in the 2017 general elections.

“We are ready come August 9th for the polls those from the Azimio camp should just prepare for the polls and wait for Kenyans to decide. Let them not bring intimidation and propaganda so that they can refuse to participate in the polls,” he stated.

He further advised the Wafula Chebukati led commission to organize a tour for the Azimio la Umoja coalition to visit Greece and observe the ongoing printing of ballot papers.

“I want to ask IEBC to take Odinga and witness the printing ballot papers and if he wants his brother to oversee the job,let him be given that job,” he stated.

Earlier, Wetangula dismissed allegations that he is involved in the ballot paper printing tender for the August general elections.

Wetangula was responding to a report that he had links with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Greek Firm- Inform Lykos -awarded the tender to print the ballot papers.

The Bungoma Senator has however delinked himself from the allegations terming it as a political witchunt by his rivals from the Orange Democratic Movement aimed at disparaging his name ahead of the polls.

“I have no interest whatsoever in any paper business least ballot papers for any elections. I don’t trade in paper or printing. I am a full time politician and lawyer sometimes straying into farming,” said Wetangula.

The Ford Kenya Leader is accused of lobbying and influencing the awarding of the tender to the Greek Firm.

Allegations are rife that he hosted three Greek foreigners in the country two months before the Sh 3 billion contract was awarded to the firm in October.

Awa David Anderson, Antonio Ramon Fernandez and Gkrekis Konstantinos are said to have been invited in Kenya for a week from January 14, 2021.

Months later, Wetangula wrote to the Greek Ambassador to Kenya to grant Joshua Abdalla Makokha(close confidant) a Schengen visa so he could travel to Athens, Greece.

“I have no personal assistant by the name Joshua; I don’t have anybody who I know that deals with printing business. The names of foreigners they are indicating are not known to me. My investigations indicate this so called letters have originated in ODM high command,” the Bungoma Senator said in response to the article.

Azimio Secretary General Junet Mohammed had called for speedy investigations by the relevant agencies on Wetangula’s relationship with Inform Lykos.

“I have had him say that he is going to court .just go to any court we will meet there. We know you sent Makokha Abdalla from Bungoma to Greece. We know you hold several meeting with Chairman of IEBC in Karen on the same,” said Mohammed.

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