The High Court has given British currency printing firm De La Rue a lifeline in a tender row with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
The High Court in Nairobi on Tuesday suspended implementation of Public Procurement Administrative and Review Board (PPARB) orders cancelling the award of a new currency printing deal to De La Rue.
PPARB had given CBK two weeks to evaluate the tenders afresh, effectively cancelling the award to the British firm.
High Court judge George Odunga gave CBK five days to file an appeal with temporary stay orders until the matter is heard and determined.
“I have considered the application and submission by the counsel and the application in both matters. Leave is hereby granted for the applicants to file substantive application within five days. The leave should operate as stay of the decision by the respondent made on January 8, 2018 pending the hearing and determination of the case,” ruled Justice Odunga.
The judge also allowed that a separate case filed by UK-based De la Rue International, which is also contesting PPRB’s orders, to be merged.
De La Rue through lawyer Fred Ngatia told the court it risks losing the Sh10 billion tender award if the court does not intervene.
“We all have to expedite the matter in the interest of justice since what is at stake is the printing of the new currency. We, therefore, pray for stay,” argued Mr Ngatia.
The battle involving CBK, De La Rue against, Public Procurement Oversight Authority and Crane Currency threatens to derail the much-awaited new currency notes and coins, which were supposed to be issued by August 2015.
Four companies were pre-qualified to bid for the lucrative deal.
They were Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient, US-headquartered Crane Currency, De la Rue International and France’s Oberthur Fiduciaire SAS.