KTDA wants court to stay orders in fertiliser row

Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) wants the High Court in Kericho to rescind its decision restricting the tea agency from entering into contract with any fertiliser manufacturing company.

Following a multi-million-shilling fertiliser tender row pitting two bidders, the tea agency stated that the petitioner sought to canvass and influence the process for his own benefit by obtaining some confidential documents illegally.

They now want the court to expunge the documents from the record saying the petitioner was in breach of the law and the tea agency’s right to privacy.

Further, KTDA said the petitioner also failed to disclose the source of the documents and also failed to show how the agency violated its procedures in managing the fertiliser tender, seeing it is a private entity with its own internal rules and regulations.

“KTDA is a private entity and entitled to enter into contract with any third party,” said Mr Mohammed Muigai arguing on behalf of the agency. 

It is alleged that KTDA awarded the second lowest bidder – Multi Commerce FCZ Ltd to supply the commodity and would cost the agency Sh84 million more for the 92, 290 MT of fertiliser.

Mr Muigai argued that SLDR International deliberately misrepresented to the court that its financial bids were disqualified because it had changed its manufacturer from BKM LLC to JSC Uralchem KCKK Brach contrary to tender conditions.

“The correct position is that there is no letter from KTDA to the petitioner disqualifying his financial bid for the alleged reason of change of manufacture,” he said in court documents.

Mr Muigai further stated that the document sought to be relied upon by the petitioner to support the allegation was a confidential memo and does not contain any decision rather a recommendation.

He told the court that SLDR International obtained the confidential memo illegally thereby going against the same procurement principles.

“The petitioner has engaged in conduct contrary to fair and competitive procurement process through canvassing, solicitation and corrupt practices in seeking to influence the decision of KTDA in the award of the tender,” he said.

The tea agency noted that by virtue of the court order issued on June 13, it threatens to have disastrous consequences on its ability to procure fertilizer for the tea farmers in Kenya which could cause massive losses to farmers who may miss the commodity during the upcoming rainy season.