Public Procurement Administrative Review Board chairman Paul Gicheru ruled that both coalitions had the right to participate in the case in which a South African printer is challenging the award of the tender to Al Ghurair.
The electoral commission on Thursday lost its bid to block Cord and Jubilee Party from being enjoined in a case contesting the controversial award of a Sh2.5 billion tender to a Dubai-based firm.
“The applications made by both parties are allowed and the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) and the Jubilee Party are joined as interested parties to the request for review pending before the board,” ruled the board.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had challenged the two parties’ quest for a joinder, arguing that they had no business engaging in a tender battle between the procuring entity and bidders.
Mr Gicheru, however, warned that the participation of the two parties, though allowed, would only be acceptable as long as their arguments are within the limits of the case filed by Paarl Media challenging the IEBC’s award of the tender.
The IEBC also lost in its bid to stop the hearing of the suit filed by Paarl, arguing that the firm filed their case late.
It had also sought to have the South African firm compelled to pay the cost of litigation if the case is dismissed.
“Owing to the fact that the 21 days for hearing and determination of this request for review under the provisions of Section 171 of the Act shall lapse on 28/11/2016, the board hereby directs the two interested parties to file their responses or submissions, if any, to answer the grounds set out in the request for Review dated November 7, 2016,” stated the board.
The board ordered Cord and JP to serve all parties — including the applicant, the procuring entity and the successful bidders — with their submissions by end of business on Thursday.
The board also ruled that all other objections by the IEBC would be heard together with the main case on Friday and said “each party shall bear its own costs of the applications” in response to the IEBC’s request.
Cord and Jubilee lawyers said they were happy with the orders and promised to act to ensure the joinder did not delay the case, which must be heard and determined by Monday.
This is the second time the Dubai firm’s bid to print ballot papers in Africa is facing opposition. In May, it faced opposition in Zambia.