OUTDOOR Advertising Association of Zambia has sued Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL) in the Lusaka High Court, seeking an interim injunction restraining it from awarding a contract for the provision of advertising space at the new terminal building at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA).
Leo Luthombi Liambela, suing in his capacity as secretary of Outdoor Advertising Association of Zambia, is also seeking an order declaring that ZACL, through its tender No. ZACL/ONB/AS/03/2020 (for the provision of advertising space at the new terminal building at KKIA), has unlawfully discriminated against citizen owned or domestic companies contrary to section 19 of the Citizen Empowerment Act no. 9 of 2006.
He also wants, among other claims, a mandatory injunction directing ZACL to formulate a fresh tender that would ensure fair and equal participation and an order declaring that ZACL’s tender is illegal as it promotes corruption and fraud contrary to sections 61 (1)(d), 65 (1), 66 and 67 of the Public Procurement Act no. 12 of 2008.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, April 8, 2020, Liambela stated that around March 2020, ZACL advertised tender No. ZACL/ONB/AS/03/2020 for the provision of advertising space at the new terminal building at KKIA and made available the bidding document on its website for easy access by interested bidders.
He stated that following the advertisement, several members of his association whose membership comprised 90 percent domestic/indigenous citizen owned outdoor advertising companies, accessed the bidding documents but after perusal, they discovered that they had a number of material anomalies.
“The anomalies being: (i) two titles; in one breath the bidding document stated that the tender was ‘for the provision of advertising space’ while another stated that ‘for the management of advertising space’. (ii) There was no provision for the intended completion date. (ii) No provision for the amount of advance payment on the contract price and there was no provision for essential equipment,” read the statement of claim.
Liambela claimed that the said tender also contravened several statutory provisions, inter alia section 19 of the Citizen Empowerment Act no 9 of 2006, by inclusion of provisions that clearly discriminate against citizen-owned advertising companies and sections 61 (1)(d), 65 (1), 66 and 67 of the Public Procurement Act no. 12 of 2008 as read with section 35 of the Anti Corruption Commission Act Cap 91 of the laws of Zambia by inclusion of provisions that promote corruption and fraud.
He stated that in light of the said discovery, the association on March 17, 2020 wrote to ZACL, highlighting the various anomalies and demanding that it withdraws or commits to withdraw the tender by March 19, 2020.
Liambela stated that to date, ZACL had, however, refused or neglected to withdraw the said tender to the detriment of the members of his association.
He added that by reason of the inaction by ZACL, the association’s member rights had been infringed.
Liambela is now seeking, among others, an order declaring that the ZACL’s tender no. ZACL/ONB/AS/03/2020 was illegal for want of compliance with statutory formalities.