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Insurance firm associated with DP Ruto sues PPARB for locking it out of Nairobi County tender

By Kamau Muthoni | June 15th 2020

A multi-million-shilling insurance battle pitting a firm associated with Deputy President William Ruto and Britam Insurance will now be determined by the High Court.

This is after Public Procurement and Review Board (PPARB) quashed a letter, which notified African Merchant Assurance Co. Ltd (Amaco) that it had won the tender and also ordered that the Ruto-linked firm should not participate in a fresh evaluation for failing to meet tender requirements.

The fight stems from a complaint by Britam, who accuses the county of unfairness and breach of procurement rules in the process. Britam’s complaint before the board was that it bid the lowest and met all the requirements.

Amaco is said to have quoted Sh186 million while Britam bid Sh161 million.

After hearing the two sides, PPARB quashed Amaco’s notification letter and ordered Nairobi County to undertake fresh evaluation of financial bids. The board also locked out Amaco from the tender by ordering that it should sign a fresh contract with any other tenderer.

Already signed

In the High Court, Amaco argues that PPARB had no powers to recall the contract as it had already signed the same on April 30, 2020.

In the case before Justice Pauline Nyamweya, Amaco wants the court to quash the board’s verdict and also bar Nairobi County from signing any contract with the other tenderers.

Britam, on the other hand, argued that the county unfairly locked it out of the tendering process despite meeting all the requirements. Britam claimed the county never disclosed the winner of the 2020-2021 deal, which is against the law.

Joshua Kimeu wrote to Britam, on behalf of the Head of County Public Service Joseph Kathenge on April 14 2020, notifying the firm that its bid was unsuccessful. 

Kimeu said Britam did not provide proof of annual gross premium worth Sh3.5 billion and did not attach five recommendation letters. Kimeu is the county’s head of procurement.

“We regret to inform, your bid for the above tender, was unsuccessful for the reasons indicated,” Kimeu wrote.

However, Britam said it had provided the premium and the recommendation letters from Central Bank, Gulf Energy, Kengen, CIC Group, Safari Park Hotel and KTDA.

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