Companies

Court dismisses Sh800m power poles tender suit

POLES

Kenya Power workers transport electricity poles for rural electrification. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The High Court has struck out a case filed by a timber processor against the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (Rerec) over a Sh800 million tender for supply of treated power transmission poles.

The company, Inter Tropical Timber Trading Limited, claimed there was fraud in the procurement and wanted the court to declare that Rerec acted contrary to the Constitution, the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015, and the Energy Act 2019 by compromising tendering in favour of 18 suppliers.

Together with its director Geoffrey Ng'ang'a Kariuki, the company claimed the poles were substandard and the tender was meant to benefit unscrupulous suppliers. They had urged the court to prohibit Rerec from using in any of its rural electrification projects the 51,238 poles currently held at its stores at Makuyu, Mariakani and Kisumu – Awasi.

But Justice James Makau found that the petition was improperly brought before the court as there are other avenues in which the complaints on procurement can be addressed.

The judge said the court does not have the powers to deal with the dispute because the issues raised in the petition can be addressed by the Authority and the Board as constituted under the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act.

He said the investor had failed to exhaust the remedies available under the Public Procurement and Disposal Act.