By Confidénte Reporter
PRESIDENT Hifikepunye Pohamba’s daughter, Kaupumhote Pohamba and Taschiona !Gawaxab, daughter to Old Mutual’s, Africa Business Managing Director, Johannes !Gawaxab were awarded a N$16.4 million construction tender, to build houses in Otjiwarongo for the National Housing Enterprises (NHE), Confidente has learnt.
The 26-year-old Kaupumhote, was in 2009 one of the beneficiaries of the infamous Chinese Scholarships, which benefitted children of mainly senior government officials, while 33 year-old Taschiona recently resigned from her job at FNB Namibia, where she was working in the IT department, to run Kata Investments CC.
According to documents in Confidente’s possession, Kaupumhote and Taschiona’s company, Kata Investments CC, registration number 2012/9248, was awarded the tender barely a year after it had been registered, making the NHE, multi-million dollar project, the first contract of this nature to be awarded to the fledgling CC.
Documents show that NHE awarded Kata Investments the contract to build 42 core and 19 conventional houses in Orwetoveni, Otjiwarongo with the project expected to have commenced by October 8, 2013 and completed by July 22, 2014.
At the time of going to print, Confidente could not independently establish how far towards completion the project was.
“On behalf of the National Housing Enterprise, I have pleasure of informing you that your tender for the execution of the above mentioned contract, for the amount of N$15,966,311-35 has been accepted and the contract is herewith awarded to your firm,” NHE’s Uazuva Kaumbi, Senior Manager for Technical Services and Property Management, wrote on September 27, 2013 to Kaupumhote and Taschiona.
According to the letter, NHE gave Kata Investments an extra N$480 000, to cover any additional costs that may arise, a move that has raised eye brows among fellow tenderprenuers who said regulation was that if a contractor incurred additional costs, they must submit an invoice outlining the additional costs, clearly not the case in the instance of Kata Investments CC.
“A contingency sum of N$480 000 has been provided, to cover the costs for unforeseen or extra work ordered by the engineer, in writing and carried out in accordance with the contract. Thus, the total contract amount is now N$16, 446,311-35,” Kaumbi wrote.
Taschiona, Tuesday, confirmed she was Kaupumhote’s business partner and they had tendered for the construction project and emerged successful.
“We tendered and won the tender. In fact you can confirm with NHE about the process. We even got a loan from the Development Bank of Namibia, to go through with it. We are very proud because we were competing with men and ended up winning. There aren’t many women in this field so this tender is the first of many. Kaupumhote and I own Kata Investments CC and have 50/50 shares. Kaupumhote is currently on her way to China and will only be back next week” Taschiona said.
These revelations come barely a week after President Pohamba rejected ministerial advice to strip the NHE of its custodianship of the mass housing project over massive tender irregularities.
President Pohamba, according to media reports, said all NHE’s shortcomings will be fixed as the project progresses.
Pohamba is reported to have said this during a meeting that was attended by Minister of Regional and Local Government and Housing and Rural Development, Charles Namoloh; the Mayor of Windhoek, Agnes Kafula; Minister of Presidential Affairs, Albert Kawana; the director general of the National Planning Commission, Tom Alweendo; and NHE chief Executive Officer, Vinson Hailulu.
The media reports further said Kawana, who is also Attorney General, advised Pohamba that NHE should be relieved of its role as the custodian of the mass housing project and that the local government ministry should take over
However, Pohamba is said to have rejected the recommendations, although he is reportedly not happy with the mass housing project’s negative public perception since he considered it as a noble idea, media reports say.
Efforts to get a comment from President Pohamba proved fruitless at the time of going to print as questions send to him through the Executive Director in the Office of the President, Ambassador Hinyangerwa Asheeke had not been responded to.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015