Quality Inspection Services of Japan had won the inspection tender scoring 96 per cent while Jevic in which Mang'eli, current MD Evah Oduor, and people close to the PM have an interest, came in a distant second with 85 per cent.
Mang'eli who was kicked out for opposing the entry of maize that was said to be associated with top figures in government, was said to be close to Oduor.
Despite the fact that the board approved QIS be given the Sh1.18billion contract at a full board meeting on October 31, 2011, Ms Oduor who had chaired the tender committee that ranked QIS first, cancelled the tender on November 1.
This was the third time the tender was being cancelled.
QIS is not an innocent bystander though, the current PS of Industrialization, Karanja Kibicho, is said to have an interest in the company.
To smooth things over, and keep everyone happy, it would appear, Oduor and co. decided to give three companies the contract essentially divvying the loot.
M/S Auto of Japan is the third company. Star Tech has yet to establish if it is another Kenyan outfit masquerading as Japanese.
The fat cats have conveniently given the companies rights in all the major sources of vehicles imported to Kenya.
Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Centre (Jevic) and Quality Inspection Service of Japan(QISJ) have been competing for the lucrative tender. When Oduor backtracked against giving QISJ the tender she went ahead to give Jevic more time to continue undertaking the inspection even though their contract had expired.
Kibicho had openly opposed eligibility of Jevic's participation in the tendering process on grounds it contravened the procurement Act.
This had to do with unsolicited communication from Jevic to the managing director KEBS, the procurement department and the minister for Industrialisation which was in total contravention of section 38(1)(a) of the procurement Act. The Public Procurement Oversight Authority also recommended action be taken against the company for interfering with the procurement process of the first tender. But Oduor did not take any disciplinary action against Jevic and it went ahead to be allowed in the subsequent procurement processes saying the PS was interfering with the process which is against the procurement act.
Jevic has in the meantime enjoyed extensions to its expired contract.