Local electricity meter assemblers have been dealt a blow after their quest to challenge a decision by Kenya Power that locked them out of a Sh2 billion tender was dismissed because it was filed out of time.
The Public Procurement Administrative Review Board dismissed the application filed by four local companies stating that the companies moved to the board late.
The board chaired by Faith Waigwa said the local manufacturers were aware of the tender early enough but moved to challenge the decision late.
“Therefore, in terms of section 167 (1) of the Act, the 14 days within which to approach the Board with an application for review ought to have been filed at the latest on or by 21st April 2022,” the board said.
It further said the complaining companies were granted an opportunity to present their case but failed to do so.
The companies including Smart Meters Technology Ltd, Shenzhen Star Instrument Company Ltd, Magnate Ventures Ltd and Inhemeter Africa Company Ltd had complained that KPLC locked them out of the tender by placing restrictions that favour foreign firms.
The board heard that there were 33 bidders from local and international firms when the tender was announced by the power utility firms.
One of the requirements was for bidders to have at least 10 years of manufacturing experience and having supplied power utility companies to at least three continents in either Europe, North America, Africa, Asia or South America.
The firms say they have spent so much resources improving their technology since 2015 when the utility company announced that it would give preferences to locally assembled meters.
Their lawyer Titus Koceyo said the restrictions placed in the tender and favouring foreign manufacturers and assemblers violate Article 10 of the Constitution on national values and principles to promote local manufacturing.
The power utility company defended the decision to restrict the tender to international firms arguing that there has been massive failures for locally assembled meters.