In Summary
  • The MPs want Idemia Securities Limited blocked for at least 10 years, citing a violation of the Companies Act and interference in the last two general elections.
  • The PAC found the French firm to have operated in the country illegally as it was not registered when it went into business with the government, contrary to the companies law.

The ongoing nationwide Huduma Namba registration exercise was on Wednesday thrown into jeopardy after members of the National Assembly voted to block the French firm that is providing the infrastructure from doing business in the country.

The MPs want Idemia Securities Limited, which was awarded the Sh6 billion tender, blocked for at least 10 years, citing a violation of the Companies Act and interference in the last two general elections.

MPs amended the report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the audited accounts of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and voted to have the firm held accountable for irregular payments it received in the 2017 General Election.

Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe said the Huduma Namba listing drive will, in the meantime, continue despite Parliament’s move as the registration “is a national exercise with clear objectives”.

LICENCE

Speaking to the Nation on phone last evening, Mr Kiraithe however said the government is still studying the decision by Parliament.

“It is premature to give a comment before seeing the actual details of what the MPs passed,” he said, warning that the government risks paying huge damages if it terminates ongoing contracts.

Interestingly, the company has also put in a bid for the multibillion-shilling population census, due in August this year.

In its findings, the PAC, chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, found the French firm to have operated in the country illegally as it was not registered when it went into business with the government, contrary to the companies law.

However, its findings and observations appeared to be inconsistent with the recommendations as the committee only sanctioned the IEBC but left Idemia untouched.

PROSECUTION

This did not go down well with Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma, who started the process to draft the amendments.

“The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) must investigate Idemia and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should institute appropriate criminal action in line with the Companies Act for doing business with IEBC without being registered locally as required by law,” said Mr Kaluma.

Idemia has, since working with IEBC, been contracted to provide technology services for the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), known popularly as Huduma Namba, which was launched in Machakos on April 3, 2019 by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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