The British Firm Smith & Ouzman Limited also Prints Ballot Papers for Somaliland
By Abdirisak Itaqile/SL Monitor
Somalilandsun -Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) could blacklist the international security printing firm that printed ballots for the last elections in Somaliland and Kenya, Standard media reports.
Last year Smith & Ouzman Limited, two of its directors, an employee and one agent have been charged by the Serious Fraud Office with offences of corruptly agreeing to make payments totaling nearly half a million pounds by Serious Fraud Office (SFO), a United Kingdom investigations unit.
And now, Kenya’s electoral body, IEBC, has given indication that it might have to cut ties with Smith and Ouzman.
Somaliland was mentioned alongside Mauritania, Ghana and Kenya as being, among others, countries that Smith and Ouzman allegedly secured diverse contracts through bribery.
Kenya’s IEBC communications director Tabitha Mutemi told The Standard on Saturday that the firm, although awarded contracts to print ballot papers for 2013 General Election, the commission declined to engage it for printing of ballot paper for by-elections that followed.
The company has been sued by Serious Fraud Office in the UK with offences of corruptly agreeing to make payments totaling nearly half a million UK pounds, allegedly to influence the award of business contracts.
Smith & Ouzman has won four tender processes for Somaliland elections and has provided the ballot papers and the tally sheets.
In January 2013, the Chairman of the Somaliland National Electoral Commission (NEC) Eng Essa Yusuf Mohamed has presented an award for Services to Elections to Smith & Ouzman.
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