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Battle over Sh250m JKIA parking deal hots up

By Kamau Muthoni | March 15th 2019

Two firms battling for control of the multi-million-shilling automated car parking system at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) yesterday renewed their rivalry in court. 

During the hearing before High Court judge Pauline Nyamweya, the controversy on the ownership of Kenya Airports Parking Services (KAPS) and whether it lied about its directorship in winning renewal of the Sh250 million contract took centre stage.

Mason Services Ltd and joint venture partner Qntra Technology successfully contested Kenya Airports Authority’s (KAA) decision to renew KAPS’ contract before the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB), citing fraud since the firm’s shareholding is controlled by a foreign company known as KAPS Holdings Mauritius.

The firm was consequently stripped of the contract it had held for 21 years, but it appealed the board’s decision.

Due diligence

At yesterday’s hearing, Mason urged the court to dismiss the appeal, insisting KAPS’ directors lied.

KAPS on its part insisted that it is Kenyan-owned, although shareholding is controlled by a foreign company known as KAPS Holdings Mauritius.

But Mason countered that PRARB had the mandate to order for due diligence and at the same time punish KAPS for lying in the first place.

The judge heard that although KAPS Mauritius had allegedly decided to allot shares to KAPS Kenya directors, there was no evidence to show that before the board. "No transfer, no allotment is shown to have been done," argued Mason’s lawyer Stephen Oyugi.

While asking the court to allow its appeal, KAPS lawyer Fred Ngatia argued that PPARB had overstretched its mandate as it cannot quash a decision by the procuring entity’s evaluation committee. The court will give its judgement on June 24.

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