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Economy

City firm takes NSSF to court over botched Sh245m tender

NSSF acting managing trustee Anthony Omerikwa. FILE PHOTO | NMG
NSSF acting managing trustee Anthony Omerikwa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The High Court has blocked the National Society Security Fund (NSSF) from advertising an electric security surveillance system tender worth Sh244.8 million until a case filed by a private firm is heard and determined.

Justice Patrick Otieno issued the interim orders after an application by Micro-Computers Limited, which has accused NSSF of breaching a deal between them.

“That the defendant has now re-advertised the same tender awarded to the plaintiff inviting the new bidders is flagrant breach of the agreement entered with the plaintiff company,” the firm states in court filings.

It further argues that it stands to suffer “irreparable losses and economic ruin” if another company is awarded the tender.

The firm says NSSF advertised the tender in 2010, which Micro-Computers Ltd applied for and emerged the winner before signing a contract agreement to carry out the project.

The company was then required to install an electronic surveillance system, CCTV and restricted control systems at NSSF House within the city centre.

However, Micro-Computers Ltd alleges that NSSF frustrated its operations over time before finally blocking it from gaining access to the site.

“That the defendant has now re-advertised the same tender awarded to the plaintiff inviting the new bidders which is flagrant breach of the agreement/contract entered with the plaintiff company,” the firm says in court papers filed through lawyer Kennedy Mokaya.

Micro-Computers Ltd managing director, Paul Okolo Ananga, says his firm was to remain on site and maintain the installed security system at Sh15 million per annum with effect from 2013.

'Forestalled contract'

He claims his firm has attempted to engage the NSSF verbally and in writing with a view to break the impasse but that the State-owned entity has only continued to forestall execution of the contract.

“As a direct result of the defendant’s conduct in breach of the contract agreement of 8th April 2014 the plaintiff has suffered loss in its business and investment,” he stated.

In 2015, the anti-corruption watchdog was probing suspended NSSF Managing Trustee Richard Langat over claims that the contract to Micro-Computers Ltd was awarded irregularly but the file was closed due to lack of evidence.

The firm is claiming damages for breach of contract, loss of business profits and costs incurred in preparation for performance of said contract agreement in the amount of Sh214.54 million.

The judge directed NSSF, represented by lawyer Augustus Wafula, to file its responses to the application within 14 days.

Both parties were further directed to file their submissions in writing for highlighting on September 20, 2017 - paving way for the court to make its determination.

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