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Court allows CBK to proceed with tendering for security systems

The Court of Appeal has allowed the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to proceed with a Sh1.2 billion tendering for security systems.

Appellate Judges Wanjiru Karanja, Martha Koome and G.B.M. Kariuki dismissed an appeal by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) opposing the tender, saying “it had not raised anything serious to warrant stopping the contract entered between CBK and Horsebridge Networks Systems Limited”.

They ruled: “We have examined the case and find nothing wrong about the contract as ruled by both the Public Procurement Review Board and the High Court. EACC’s contentions lack merit since they have not provided us with any justification to interfere with the contract”.

The dispute for the supply and commissioning of a security system had started in May, 2012 when the CBK advertised the tender and after evaluation, a tender committee directed that the contract be awarded to Horsebridge Network Systems.

A dispute arose after the tender evaluation committee refused to approve the contract, forcing the company to file a review at the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board.

The board agreed with their case and directed the CBK to sign the contract.

However, the contract was stayed after the EACC started investigating the CBK over the allegation that the agreement was irregularly awarded.

WELDON KORIR

The company then filed a case at the High Court then on September 2014, Justice Weldon Korir ruled that the EACC’s investigations were unfounded and again allowed the CBK to proceed with the contract.

The EACC moved to the second highest court in the land, saying the High Court judge had failed to recognise the “flaws” and “irregularities” pointed out during the procurement process.

The appellate judges have however disagreed with the EACC and said Justice Korir was right in allowing the CBK to carry on with the contract.

“CBK is a public body and therefore had a statutory obligation to comply with the directions issued by both the review board and the High Court who had the first opportunity to interrogate the contract and cleared it of any irregularities,” justices Wanjiru, Koome and Kariuki said.

They agreed with the CBK that it should have signed the contract within 30 days as directed by the High Court and said the matter of terminating the contract would only arise if the company had been informed in advance before the tender process was completed.

The Court of Appeal said the procurement review board had not made a mistake when it found the tender process had been duly followed and that nothing could warrant its cancellation.

They agreed the contract had already been executed and whatever the EACC was investigating had been overtaken by events.

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