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Former IEBC CEO James Oswago sentenced to 4 years in prison

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By Wanja Waweru

James Oswago, a former CEO of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), was found guilty by the Anti-Corruption Court of awarding an erroneous Ksh1.3 billion contract for the provision of voter materials for the 2013 general elections.

In a decision handed down by Magistrate Felix Kombo, the court found Oswago and deputy commissioner Wilson Shollei guilty of violating the law regarding the procurement of election-related materials, and they were sentenced to prison time.

The magistrate determined that the prosecution had established beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants had broken the legislation governing procurement when they purchased Electronic Voter Identification Devices (EVID) for the March 4, 2013, general election, which resulted in their conviction.

James Oswago allegedly requested payments when the ballots for the 2010 Constitutional referendum as well as the by-elections in Shinyalu, South Mugirango, and Bomachoge were being purchased.

In a scandal known as “Chickengate,” they are said to have plotted with employees of Smith and Ouzman, UK-based printers of electoral ballots, to collect millions in bribes.

By giving Smith and Ouzman Ltd the contract to provide 57,000 ballots for the South Mugirango by-election in violation of the public procurement and disposal regulations on May 7, 2010, James Oswago is the only one accused of breaking procurement laws.

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