Kenya is this month expected to receive a new ferry that was purchased at about Sh1 billion and whose delivery delayed for four years due to a protracted court case.
Kenya Ferry Services (KFS), according to a report tabled in Parliament, signed a contract worth Sh1.863 billion ($18,630,000) in June 2015 for supply and delivery of two new ferries.
The KFS made a down payment of Sh598 million to a local agent of a Turkish firm building the ferries within 17 months, by November 2016. The contractor delivered one ferry, MV Jambo, in July 2017.
The second — MV Safari — had not been delivered as at November 2018 due to a court order halting its construction following a petition at the high court.
Southern Engineering Co and BV Scheepswerf Domen Gorinchem Joint Venture which scored the highest technical evaluation and who bid alongside three others for the lucrative tender complained at the Public Procurement Regulatory Board, which ruled in favour of KFS.
A member of the public also challenged the procurement in court and the case was ruled in favour of KFS.
“The company (KFS) appealed successfully and construction of the same is ongoing with delivery expected as per the revised production plan in January 2020,” Bakari Gowa, the managing director of KFS said in submissions to the Public Investments Committee.
The committee, chaired by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, has ordered KFS to provide evidence to confirm the delivery date of the ferry.
The delay was occasioned by a six month injunction at the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority as well as a review of the contractor by Attorney General.
Turkish ship-builder Ozata Tersanecilik San Vertic Ltd is expected to deliver the ferry that is designed to carry wheeled cargo such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers and railroad cars.
MV Jambo ferry is operating at the congested Likoni channel.
The delivery of the new passenger/vehicle ferry with capacity to carry approximately 490/500 tonnes is expected to ease congestion at the Likoni channel.
Parliament early last month adopted PIC’s resolution directing the maritime regulator to ground all ferries that do not meet safety standards. It ordered the Kenya Maritime Authority to inspection all ferries and block those in poor shape.