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Court dismisses Kiai biometric kits petition

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has won a reprieve after a case challenging its acquisition of biometric kits to be used for the August 8 polls was dismissed by the High Court.

Human Rights activist Maina Kiai and two others had sued the electoral body for allegedly flouting rules in the importation of biometric voter identification (BVR) devices.

Kiai, Tirop Kitur and Khelef Khalif had claimed that IEBC and Kenya Bureau of Standards did not conduct public participation and that pre-export verification standards in the acquisition of the kits were flouted.

However High Court judge John Mativo ruled that IEBC had demonstrated that there was some form of public participation, sufficient to satisfy the requirement.

“I find and hold that the petitioners have failed to demonstrate that they are entitled to the relief sought in the petition,” he ruled. The three petitioners had also argued that Safran Identity and Security Company supplied the Electoral and Boundaries Commission with similar kits for the March 4, 2013 General Election, and they failed to work.

IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba dismissed their claims noting that the electoral body did conduct public participation through a technical committee.

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