Former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chief Executive Officer James Oswago, and two others have been charged afresh with several counts of graft, linked to the Sh50 million Chickengate scandal.
Oswago, his co-accused Hamida Ali Kibwana who is also a former IEBC official and Trevy Oyombra, an agent of a UK firm, Smith & Ouzman, appeared before the Anti-Corruption Court chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi and denied all charges related to the scandal.
The money, is alleged to have been paid as bribes by the UK firm, to former members of the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) and the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC). The bribes were given with the intention to secure printing tenders from the two institutions.
The prosecution alleges that on May 7, 2010 at the IIEC offices in Nairobi County, Oswago, being the accounting officer of the IIEC, wilfully failed to comply with the law relating to procurement of goods, by the awarding a contract for the supply of 57,000 ballot papers, for the South Mugirango by-election, the Smith and Ouzman Ltd, and in contravention of the Public Procurement and Disposal Regulations 2006.
The former IIEC boss is also accused of receiving Sh2 million on August 13, 2010, from a politician, as an inducement to have the IIEC award a contract for the printing of OMR Correction forms, to Smith and Ouzman Limited, contrary the Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Act.
In July 2020, the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission (EACC) had recommended that Oswago and three other junior election officials, be charged for corruption, and particularly, for pocketing hefty bribes totaling £349,057.39 (Sh45.4 million).
These are ongoing many other investigations, speak to the collaboration and diligence of MAT agencies in the fight against corruption within public service. It is now upon the courts to ensure swift and decisive justice for the tax payer, in this and similar cases.