Kenya Ports Authority and its MD Cathrine Muturi have been summoned to appear in court in a case concerning the illegal cancellation of tenders.
A Mombasa court has also given top procurement official Anthony Nyamancha 15 days to join the proceedings.
In a notice signed by the Mombasa Deputy Registrar, the parties are warned that should they fail to comply within the specified time, the case will proceed and a judgment delivered in their absence.
In the suit, Melina Forwarders and Sally Maks Enterprise accuse the respondents of unlawfully terminating their contracts. The complainants say they were among shortlisted bidders and that the authority did not explain its actions.
The companies want the court to stop KPA, Muturi and Nyamancha from awarding tenders to old contractors. They claim these contractors have been issued with tenders since 2013 so they should not be awarded again.
The applicants further want the court to issue temporary orders barring the respondents from cancelling a tender they were awarded between 2016 and 2017.
Their lawyer Gideon Rangira wants the orders issued pending the hearing and determination of the matter.
“My clients inquired on several occasions on why their tenders were cancelled but got no responses,” Rangira said. “The ports authority had no powers to cancel the tenders without valid reasons.”
He further said Melina and Sally had fully complied with the terms of the agreement so the cancellation was unfair.
The lawyer noted that the companies were among 100 bidders who were shortlisted after the tender was advertised in 2016.
“The cancellation means that contractors who have been serving since 2013, and whose time was to lapse in two years, will get extensions until further notice.”
He said this denied his clients the right to bid for tenders by government institutions.