Business Daily (Nairobi)

Kenya: Procurement Board Nullifies Sh6bn Hazina Towers Tender

A Sh6 billion tender awarded to Cementers Ltd by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has been declared void.

Cementers Ltd had won the tender to build a 36-storey building at Nakumatt Lifestyle in Nairobi, but the tender was annulled by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB).

Consequently, the board directed the pension manager to re-tender the construction work after the tendering process and the manner in which the evaluation was carried was found to have been flawed.

Cementers had won the tender to construct the building at the heart of the city but two construction firms who lost the bid, China Jiangxi International Kenya Ltd and China Wu Yi (K) Ltd, challenged the decision of the NSSF tender committee.

China Jiangxi through lawyer Mohammed Nyaoga sought for a review of the tender documents submitted by Cementers to confirm that the company qualified to be awarded the lucrative tender.

Third lowest

NSSF had in February 1, 2011 advertised the tender for the completion of Hazina Trade Centre Tower, the building currently housing Nakumatt Lifestyle. 10 construction firms submitted their bids.

Upon evaluation, the tender committee declared that Cementers had won the bid to construct the trade centre-earmarked to be the tallest architecture piece in East and Central Africa. Cementers bid of Sh6 billion was the third lowest among the 10 firms.

The tender committee said the China Jiangxi bid was nullified because the company did not submit the current registration certificate for its sub-contractor, Raerex E.A. Ltd which was to undertake the air conditioning of the building.

But the review board noted that there was no reason for disqualifying Chain Jiangxi at the preliminary stage of the tender evaluation as it had confirmed the sub-contractor's registration verbally with the Ministry of Public Works.

"In the circumstances, the board finds the manner the evaluation was done was flawed and the applicant was wrongfully disqualified from tender process," said the ruling delivered by the PPARB on May 17.

China Jiangxi had bid Sh6.2 bn while China Wu Yi had the lowest Sh5.9 billion.

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