COURT APPLIES BRAKES ON NEW PLATES MAKING MACHINERY TENDER.

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BY SAM ALFAN.

The High court has suspended temporarily the multi-billion-shilling tender for the supply of new hi-tech number plates.

Justice James Makau issued temporary order suspending the restricted tender for supply of integrated and securitized license plates production facility and start-up raw materials.

“An interim order is hereby issued suspending the restricted tender Tender No. SDC/50/2019-2020, for supply, delivery, installation, testing, training and commissioning of integrated and securitized license plates production facility and start-up raw materials pending the hearing and determination of the petition,”ordered Justice James Makau.

Okiyah Omtatah filed a petition seeking to suspend the tender arguing that it is unreasonable and wasteful to the extent that it seeks to procure an entire production plant whose installed capacity will never be utilized.

The Activist said it is also wasteful to abandon a fully serviceable new machinery lying idle at Kamiti Prison, which is waiting to be rolled out.

The machinery was acquired by the government between 2013 and 2015 at more than Sh1 billion.

Omtatah claims that he is aware that the decision to abandon the already procured equipment and materials, follows the change of guard in the Ministry of Interior in July 2018.

He is apprehensive that in deciding to procure the unviable plant, the new sheriffs in town are acting fraudulently in self-interest and against the public interest.

In the court documents, he argues that secretive tender whose closing and opening date was August 7, 2020, is currently under evaluation and it can be awarded any time.

“Since an entry level automated blank number plate production plant would be required to produce at least 800,000 blank number plates per month to break even, it is unviable for Kenya, whose annual vehicle registration does not exceed 400,000 units, to purchase it,” Submitted Omtatah.

He further argue that it is in public domain that sometimes in 2013, the government started the process to upgrade the number plate production equipment, with the aim of introducing new generation number plates in the country.

However, he claims that Tender No. KPS/T/8/2013-2014 for Supply, Delivery, Installation, Testing, Training and Commissioning of Modern Number Plate Production Machines was floated. 6. The tender was awarded and a contract signed.

Further the requisitioned machines namely, 2 Embossing Machines, Embossing tools, 2 Hot-Stamping Machines, 1 Pneumatic press machine, were delivered and installed at Kamiti Prison and have been inspected by various government officials.

The case will be heard on November 11, for further directions.

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