By JOHN NGIRACHU
NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga tried to influence the award of the contract to print ballot papers to the South African firm that lost to Dubai-based Al Ghurair.
At the same time, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) says it hosted Majid Saif Al Ghurair in his capacity as chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and led him and his team to pay a courtesy call on President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in October 2016.
KNCCI is chaired by Kiprono Kittony, who on Thursday said there was no private meeting between Mr Al Ghurair and President Kenyatta, and that none of the issues discussed then touched on anything to do with the printing industry.
In Parliament, Majority Leader Aden Duale led MPs from the president’s party in asking Mr Odinga to account for his relations with Paarl Media— the South African company that challenged the award of the Sh2.5-billion contract to Al Ghurair.
Mr Duale said there was information that two directors of the company— Ben Sachs and Dr Peter Shailesh— met Mr Odinga thrice in December 2015 and twice in April 2016 and that they struck a deal.
In the deal, Mr Duale claimed, they agreed to contribute Sh1 billion to Mr Odinga, but this would only work if he helped Paarl Media secure the contract for the printing of the 120 million ballot papers.
When the company lost its bid to secure the contract, Mr Duale said, Mr Odinga started his campaign against the IEBC.
IEBC has since said it will not cancel the Sh2.5 billion ballot paper printing contract awarded to the Dubai firm.
Its officials explained that the deal had already been signed and that it was way behind its electoral cycle schedule.