Win for local suppliers as board stops Sh2 billion Kenya Power meter tender

Win for local suppliers as board stops Sh2 billion Kenya Power meter tender

A Kenya Power and Lighting Company employee inspects a meter box at the Kosovo area of Mathare slums. PHOTO | HEZRON NJOROGE | NMG Kenya Power has been stopped from proceeding with a Sh2 billion tender for the supply of electricity meters after local manufacturers protested a move to lock them out of the lucrative deal.

Public Procurement and Administrative Review Board (PPARB) put on hold the power utility company’s plans, pending the determination of the appeal filed by a group of local manufacturers.

The manufacturers under Energy Meters Assemblers & Manufacturers Association said in the appeal that the decision by Kenya Power to invite international bidders for the supply of single-phase, three-phase postpaid and prepaid meters is discriminatory and against the Constitution.

“Under section 168 of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015, the procurement proceedings are hereby suspended and no contract shall be signed between the procuring entity and the tenderer awarded the contract unless the appeal has been finalised,” the ruling by the board stated.

The manufacturers said Kenya Power invited bids for the supply of the meters and placed conditions, which will only allow an international procurement model for the power distribution products.

The group said the essence of the tender document and conditions is to edge out local manufacturers and assemblers who have all been supplying the meters since 2015.

Their lawyer Titus Koceyo said the restrictions placed in the tender and favouring foreign manufacturers over local manufacturers and assemblers violate Article 10 of the Constitution on national values and principles to promote local manufacturing.

“The Applicant’s members are apprehensive that the Respondent in a hurried manner to implement the Taskforce Report out of context and to achieve ulterior motives inserted conditions in the impugned Tender whose net effect is to disqualify the members of the Applicant from participating in the Tender,” he said in his submissions.

If not stopped, the local manufacturers said they will suffer losses and damages as their factories and manufacturing plants will be rendered useless, besides job losses and flooding the local market with imported goods that are readily manufactured and assembled locally.

One of the requirements in the tender is a minimum of 15 years technical specifications experience in the manufacture of energy meters.

The condition, the local manufacturers say, is unreasonable, impractical, and discriminatory and meant to stifle and unfairly deny them the opportunity to participate.Court documents show that none of the local firms has been […]

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