Economy

Omtatah asks court to suspend Kenya Power insurance tender

Activist Okiya Omtatah

Activist Okiya Omtatah at the Milimani Law Courts. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Activist Okiya Omtatah has challenged a Kenya Power tender for insurance brokerage firms, which he says will lock out many local insurance companies.
  • The activist says the indemnity cover of minimum limit Sh1 billion is unreasonable and oppressive.
  • He argues that the new requirements will knock most local businesses out of the market leaving it for multinationals to dominate.

Activist Okiya Omtatah has challenged a Kenya Power tender for insurance brokerage firms, which he says will lock out many local insurance companies.

In the petition under certificate of urgency, Mr Omtatah says the tender advertised last month introduced stringent measures like professional indemnity cover of Sh1 billion.

The tender had been advertised in June but was canceled and re-advertised a few days later with the new requirements.

Mr Omtatah says in the first tender, the professional indemnity cover was minimum Sh200 million, and territorial limit within Kenya.

“It should also be noted that the accompanying qualifying expression “territorial limit within Kenya” has been expunged in the second tender document,” he said.

The activist says the indemnity cover of minimum limit Sh1 billion is unreasonable and oppressive because even the Insurance Regulatory Authority itself requires a professional indemnity Insurance Policy with a minimum limit of Sh10 million.

“The petitioner was aggrieved to note that some of the bidder eligibility requirements had been changed in an unlawful, unreasonable, oppressive, unfair, opaque and discriminatory manner to defeat the provisions of Article 227(1) of the Constitution,” he said.

Mr Omtatah also wants the court to issue an order that tenders issued by the KP must have provision for 30 per cent affirmative action under the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) programme. 

He told the court that the application is extremely urgent saying the tender closes on August 12, 2021, and the matter will be overtaken by events if it is not heard immediately. 

He argues that the new requirements will knock most local businesses out of the market leaving it for multinationals to dominate.

“The new requirements are not just unreasonable and oppressive to many local brokers, they discriminate directly in favour of very large firms, and are clearly designed to lock out local players who are relatively speaking, small concerns,” he said.