30 April 2014

Kenya: Laptops Tender Case Pushed to June

Nairobi — The High Court has pushed the controversial Sh24.6 billion laptop tender case to June 30 this year to enable all the parties involved to file further affidavits and submissions.

This is after a three judge bench appointed by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to hear the suit heard that parties in the case are yet to file all the documents they intend to rely on during the hearing.

On Wednesday, Olive Telecommunications Lawyer Mohammed Nyaoga told Justices George Kimondo, Mumbi Ngugi and George Odunga that the Public Procurement and Review Board (PPRB), Ministry of Education, Hewlett- Packard (HP) and Haier Electrical Appliances Corporation who have been named as respondents, are yet to file further affidavits.

The bench allowed the parties in the case to file their documents within the next 10 days and directed the case to be heard from June 30.

In March this year, the High Court put on hold the tendering process pending hearing and determination of the case saying it was justice to protect investor interests since the dispute involved international companies.

Olive Telecommunications wants the ministry restrained from proceeding with a fresh tender process arguing that the PPRB cancelled it on grounds which were not pleaded when tendering.

The Indian firm had won the tender for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of primary schools laptops before it was cancelled over various irregularities committed by the Education Ministry's tender committee.

Through Mohammed Muigai advocates, the firm contends that "in finding that the applicant lacked the necessary financial turnover the board made a gross error of law and of fact".

However in the suit papers, Olive Telecommunications maintained that the power of the PPRB to review a decision of the procuring entity is limited by the grounds of the request for review.

Olive also complained that it was not given a chance to explain its financial status before the cancellation of the tender.

On February 7, the Ministry of Education informed the applicant that it had been awarded the tender for being the successful bidder.

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