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Economy

Foreign firms to be barred from tenders below Sh1bn

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Foreign firms will be barred from bidding for government tenders whose values are less than Sh1 billion if MPs approve a bill seeking to increase the participation of local firms in State projects.

The bill sponsored by Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua comes after Central Kenya MPs raised concerns over the heavy presence of Chinese contractors in the economy.

The MP wants the procurement laws changed to favour local firms that have been sidelined in mega infrastructural projects by the government.

The MP has written to the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi requesting assistance in drafting amendments to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015.

“The Speaker has approved my proposal and we are currently drafting the amendment bill. The country is facing Chinese invasion and we have to protect local firms through legislation,” he said.

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On Wednesday, Central Kenya legislators led by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro protested against the insurgence of Chinese who were being permitted to take up jobs Kenyans can do.

President Uhuru Kenyatta admitted that foreign companies were suppressing local industries when he proposed the ban of Chinese fish in the country.

Mr Rigathi wants contracts whose value is less that Sh1 billion reserved for Kenyan companies. External contractors will be awarded such contracts in the event local firms do not qualify.

He noted that the amendments will protect local jobs and curb repatriation of profits by the foreign companies that are increasingly snapping construction works.

“In order to occasion an amendment to the meaning assigned to the term 'local contractor' so as to mean firms which are 100 per cent owned by Kenyans,” read the letter.

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