Two Chinese firms, ZTE and Huawei, are currently embroiled in a serious fight for tenders in Kenya. The two companies which have also been fighting each other in South Africa, are fighting to win the Kenyan government’s multi-billion shilling National Surveillance, Communication, Command and Control systems tender that was recently cancelled by Head of Public Service Francis Kimemia.
Now ZTE wants to institute contempt of court and defamation charges against the Civil service boss. Kimemia cancelled the tender over graft and exaggerated costs claims. Huawei went to court claiming that it quoted a fee which is Ksh 8 billion lower than that of ZTE. Kimemia further alleged that the process “was conducted unprofessionally.”
Huawei is very close to senior government officials including the PS of Ministry of Information and contacts in the Office of the President. It was surprising that they did not win the contract. It was expected that Huawei would eventually win the war through senior contacts in the OP. So the moves by Kimemia are not surprising to anyone who has known how Huawei operates in Kenya.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government owned ZTE Corporation has contracted lawyer Donald Kipkorir and issued a statement published in the newspapers today blaming Huawei and Kimemia for its woes. ZTE affirms that they use 3rd generation technology unlike Huawei which they claim, uses 2nd generation technology.
ZTE terms the claims by Kimemia as “malicious and irresponsible” further stating that they were made while there is an ongoing court case on the same. ZTE further demands an “immediate withdrawal” of the letter and “in any event before the end of today, in default, whereof our instructions” they promise to institute criminal and civil contempt proceedings against Kimemia.