The National Super Alliance (NASA) has been ordered by the High Court to pay IEBC and Jubilee Party the cost of the lawsuit where the Opposition lost in its bid to have the electoral commission blocked from using a manual back up in the upcoming elections.
NASA lost its fight to have the August 8 General Election put off in affected counties, constituencies or wards if the electronic system fails.
The High Court judges led by George Kimondo, Alfred Mabeya and Hedwig Ong’undi declined to grant the orders sought by the Opposition on the grounds that it would set the country down a rough path.
“The court had to consider the impact in case if the electronic system fails. The lack of an alternative would throw the entire election into jeopardy and imperil our democracy.”
They agreed with the commission’s argument that it had adopted regulations to cater for both identification of voters and transmission of results in case the system fails.
The Opposition’s loss comes barely a day after the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court ruling that had stopped Dubai-based Al Ghurair from printing presidential ballot papers.
The High Court had also quashed a petition filed by human rights activists Maina Kiai, Khelef Khalifa and Tirop Kitur challenging the manner in which IEBC acquired the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS) devices.
According to the petitioners, IEBC failed to meet standards set in law which include simplicity, accuracy, security, accountability and transparency of election technology.
Justice John Mativo pointed out that IEBC’s technical committee consulted with relevant authorities to ensure the devices were procured in conformity with relevant laws.
Chiloba’s affidavit indicated that IEBC met the necessary requirements that an integrated electronic system needs to be in place eight months to the elections, which was later amended in December 2016, the new laws reducing the period to four months.
The affidavit noted that Chiloba also submitted that a committee appointed on April 28 conducted an inspection of the KIEMS kits and subsequently issued a certificate of compliance on May 8.
The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) is also said to have inspected power banks, mobile batteries chargers and tablets to satisfy their compliance to standards.