Presidential ballot papers under 24-hr guard, says Oswago
Presidential ballot papers have been delivered in the country as Kenyans prepare to vote in two weeks.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) confirmed on Saturday that the ballot papers were delivered from London on Friday night, but declined to divulge further information on where they are being kept.
“They arrived last night (Friday). They were brought by six Boeing 707 flights which we had hired,” IEBC chief executive James Oswago told the Sunday Nation.
“They are under 24-hour security at a location I cannot reveal. But they are very safe.”
Mr Oswago said ballot papers for other contestants such as governors, senators, MPs and women’s representatives would be delivered by next week with the county representative ballot papers due in on February 26.
A source at the IEBC said that the papers would be stored in various government warehouses in Nairobi.
“There will be sufficient security to guard them,” the source said.
The commission has cleared eight presidential candidates to compete for the presidency. They are Prime Minister Raila Odinga of Cord, Deputy PMs Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi of Jubilee and Amani coalitions respectively, Prof James ole Kiyiapi of Restore and Build Kenya, Narc Kenya’s Martha Karua, KNC’s Peter Kenneth, Mr Paul Muite of Safina and Mr Mohammed Abduba Dida of Alliance for Real Change.
The papers delivered on Friday night bear images and names of the eight candidates. They also have names of running mates against each of the presidential candidate’s name.
The commission had contracted British firm Smith & Ouzman to print the 500-tonne ballot papers to be used in the General Election due on March 4.
This is the firm that also supplied ballot papers to the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya for the 2005 constitution referendum, the 2007 General Election and 2010 constitution referendum as well as all the by-elections held since 2007.
The firm also does security printing works for the Kenya National Examinations Council.