Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (Rerec) now wants the High Court to set aside orders obtained by a supplier of electricity transmission poles, blocking the return of over 50,000 poles alleged to be substandard.
Through lawyer Dennis Mosota, the corporation, formerly known as REA, argued that the orders obtained by Inter Tropical Timber Trading Ltd and Geoffrey Ng’ang’a, has the effect of stalling all its activities by suspending the resupply or retreatment of poles.
Mr Mosota told court that the move would also cause hardship and irreparable loss to the taxpayers, unless it is set aside by the court. The court heard that more than 50,000 wooden poles will deteriorate and lead to wastage of resources.
Justice James Makau certified the application as urgent and directed the case to be heard on June 4.
Mr Mosota further said the order has the effect of suspending the contractual relationship between the corporation and the suppliers, therefore curtailing remedies available to them under the Law of Contract and the Sale of Goods Act, including return of nonconforming goods.
“The poles will deteriorate, which will affect the first respondent’s ability to enforce remedial measures available to a buyer under the Tender, the Contract and the Sale of Goods Act, thereby causing irreparable loss of national resources,” the lawyer said.
The court had granted temporary orders, suspending the return of wooden poles for retreatment or resupply, pending the hearing of the case by Inter Tropical Timber Trading.
But the State agency said the move would curtail its work, which is ensuring the realisation of the Last Mile Connectivity and universal access to electricity in line with the country’s Vision 2030.
The two suppliers said Rerec is holding 51,238 substandard treated transmission poles. The poles are being held at its Makuyu, Mariakani and Kisumu-Awasi stores. The poles were procured at a cost of Sh800 million, according to Mr Ng’ang’a.
In the suit papers, Mr Ng’ang’a said the poles were delivered and accepted by REA officials.
They were procured on or about July 1, 2018 and March 20, 2019 but they allegedly did not meet the minimum retention of 30KG/M3, raising doubts on the quality of treatment.
Mr Ng’ang’a said the corporation should ensure that the poles conform to the minimum set standards before they can be accepted in its stores.