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Nairobi Water Company ordered to complete award of tender to JamboPay

Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company has been ordered to complete a procurement process of a tender awarded to JamboPay in 2018.

In a ruling by High Court Judge John Mativo, the utility firm was ordered to honour the outcome of the tendering process won by JamboPay.

DIGITAL BANKING

The tender involved the implementation of agency payment integration platform and digital banking channels for the company which was re-advertised in 2017.

A bid by JamboPay was declared responsive after evaluation by both the technical and financial evaluation. However, the firm management made an about-turn resulting in a court process that has been dragging since 2018.

“…I find that the applicant’s application is merited. It follows that there is basis for the court to grant the orders of Mandamus as prayed. Accordingly, I allow the application dated November 20, 2019 and order that Nairobi Water proceed and complete the procurement process in respect of the tender,” read an order by Judge Mativo dated May 14, 2020.

Webtribe, JamboPay’s parent company, had gone to court seeking for an order of Mandamus to compel Nairobi Water to proceed and complete the procurement process.

In the suit, Webtribe was listed as the ex-parte applicant, Nairobi Water the respondent and Public Procurement Administrative Board the interested party.

And Judge Mativo, in his determination, said that the effect of the respondent’s refusal to award the tender to the applicant is that it has simply disobeyed court orders.

This is after an application by Nairobi Water seeking to quash a decision and prohibition order against the Procurement Review Board was dismissed by the High Court on August 8, 2019, in effect staying the decision of the Board on December 25, 2018.

LEGAL TUSSLE

However, the urban water firm ignored the court order forcing Webtribe to go to court seeking for the implementation of the court order accusing the former of deliberately ignoring and continuing to frustrate the implementation of the said order in order and ultimately re-advertise the tender.

The Board had quashed the decision to terminate the procurement process directing Nairobi Water to complete the process including making the award within 14 days from the date of the decision.

This was after Webtribe had filed for a review of an October 25, 2018 decision by the water company to terminate a tender awarded to them.

But in his ruling, Judge Mativo said that the respondent’s application to review the decision by the interested party was dismissed by the High Court and the respondent never preferred an appeal against the said decision.

“It follows that the respondent has a legal duty to ward the tender to the applicant by obeying the law and court orders,” he said.

Nairobi Water and JamboPay have been involved in a legal tussle over the tender after the company’s management terminated the tender to the former.

The saga began when Nairobi Water’s Supply Chain Manager, after having reviewed the evaluation report of the said tender, wrote to the Managing Director in September 10, 2018 advising him to terminate the procurement process opining that the subject tender did not satisfy provisions of the law.