– Parliamentary committee recommended Idemia Securities Limited be investigated and barred from doing business in Kenya
– MPs accused the foreign technology firm of violating Companies Act and interfering with elections in Kenya
– Idemia moved to court to challenge the Parliament’s decision arguing it was not given a chance to defend itself
– Court ruled the company’s application did not have any merit, thus giving the government a go ahead to implement a 10 year ban
High Court has given the government a go ahead to block Idemia Securities Limited, formerly OT- Morpho, from transacting business in Kenya owing to alleged violation of the Companies Act and interference with elections.
Idemia had gone to court to challenge the National Assembly’s recommendation that it be banned from doing business in the country for 10 years arguing it was never accorded any opportunity to defend itself against the damning allegations made by the lawmakers.
In its application, the embattled tech company also accused the MPs of taking over the job of investigative agencies which are supposed to probe the allegations before a decision can be made, but High Court Judge John Mativo was not persuaded.
Delivering his ruling on Monday, May 13, Mativo stated Idemia’s application lacked merit to warrant overturning Parliament’s decision to ban the firm for 10 years, consequently giving the government the green light to proceed with implementation of the ban.
A parliamentary committee had on April 24, 2019, recommended that Idemia be investigated by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and blocked from doing any business in Kenya for the next 10 years.
The lawmakers accused the firm of double standards, flouting the Companies Act and questionable conduct when it provided infrastructure for the 2017 General Election.
According to the MPs, the tech company did not even have a known office or address in Kenya.
They alleged Idemia did not have documents showing whether it is registered in the country as a Kenyan or foreign company.
“Why should they have double standards, what is OT Morpho doing in Kenya that it can’t do in Paris, London or Paris? Where you see such changes on names, there are issues,” said Majority Leader Aden Duale.
Despite winning the multi-billion tender to provide backbone infrastructure for Huduma Namba registration, the same company was also set to support the August 2019 national population census.
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