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Pattni loses bid for duty free shops at JKIA

A company associated with businessman Kamlesh Pattni has lost its claim on duty free shops at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

World Duty Free Company, trading as Kenya Duty Free Complex, sought to stop the Kenya Airports Authority from awarding the contract to Swiss concessionaire Dufry International, claiming tendering was fraudulent.

However, Justice Fred Ochieng dismissed the case, saying there were no irregularities to warrant cancellation of the contract.

“The tendering appears to have been conducted in a manner compliant with the law. I find that the agreement between KAA and Dufry International was not illegal, null and void,” ruled Justice Ochieng.

Kenya Duty Free Complex had argued that it was the only company with exclusive rights to manage duty free shops at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta and Mombasa’s Moi airports, based on an April 27, 1989 agreement.

It accused the airport’s authority of breaching the agreement by granting new exclusive rights to Dufry International in October.

Justice Ochieng said there was evidence that the 1989 agreement had been settled, and that the company was among those that submitted bids during the tender, but lost.

The judge said re-tendering was openly advertised in June 2014. Five firms submitted applications.

Kenya Duty Free Complex made a joint bid with Suzan Duty Free Ltd.

At the end of the second tendering, two other companies challenged it but were dismissed.

“I find no fault in the tendering,” ruled Justice Ochieng.