Chinese firm sues Telkom in Sh1.8bn deal

A Chinese company has accused Telkom Kenya of blackmailing it into hiring an Armenian expatriate in return for a Sh1.8 billion tender for power maintenance at all Orange shops and sites.

New International Consultancy Company Limited (NICCL) has asked the courts to stop Telkom from cancelling the lucrative tender it won in March after beating four other bidders, including China’s Huawei Technologies.

NICCL says Telkom has threatened to cancel the tender if it does not hire Yeghoyan Vahagn as project manager for the power maintenance deal.

The threats, NICCL claims, were issued by Telkom’s chief technical and information officer Jean Marie Garcia who is also a defendant in the suit.

The firm insists that Mr Vahagn’s delivery was low as per expectations it had set for the position, and that Telkom has refused to settle costs NICCL incurred by entering into contracts with third parties.

Justice Olga Sewe has stopped Telkom from cancelling the tender until Monday when she will give further directions on the suit.