…As it dishes N$212m Ondangwa runway project to the Chinese
…Board opts for tender exemptions again
By Confidente Reporter
THE Namibia Airports Company (NAC) board has allegedly yet again bypassed set tender regulations and awarded a nearly N$212 million Ondangwa airport runway phase 2 contract without going to tender to a Chinese government owned entity, China State Construction Engineering (Southern Africa), Confidente has learnt.
Confidente can also reveal that the NAC board decided to appoint Aurecon- Namibia PTY Ltd a company co-owned by the personal assistant to the Founding Father Sam Nujoma, John Nauta, businesswoman and the wife of Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport responsible for Government Air Transport Services, Joe Shipepe – Kandeshi Helena Shipepe, businessman Peter Hango Elindi, Johannes Marthinus Kaber and South African nationals, Cornelius van Staden and Ferdinand Nell as the supervising consulting engineers for the same project without going to tender.
Confidente at the time of going to print could not establish the value of the contract Aurecon was given.
According to documents at hand the NAC board on June 23 held a meeting were it approved and resolved that the Chinese company be awarded the contract.
“That the submission requesting for approval of the Board of Directors for China State Construction Engineering (Southern Africa) Pty Ltd to be re-appointed as the main contractor for the continuation of the upgrading of the infrastructure of the Ondangwa airport runway phase 2 at an amount of N$211, 616, 796.30 (vat inclusive) has been approved,” the board minutes signed by the Company Secretary Elise Shaanika on June 30 partly read.
The board minutes further state that: “..Aurecon is to be appointed as the supervising consulting engineers to design phase 2 of the Ondangwa Airport runway rehabilitation project and the tender shall not go out on public tender as phase 2 will be seen as continuation of phase 1.”
Minister of Public Enterprises, Leon Jooste responding to a media inquiry by Confidente said the N$212 million Ondangwa phase 2 runway project awarded to the Chinese and the contract given to Aurecon are part of an ACC investigation.
“..All part of the investigation,” Jooste said.
Nauta speaking through his lawyer, Sisa Namandje, Monday, said his client was a non-executive director in Aurecon and wasn’t aware that the contract awarded to the company he co-owns was currently marred in any irregularities.
“My instructions, first of all I know I am working on another case so I caution you not to write any defamatory article against my client … Yes my client can confirm that he is a non-executive director of the company you are talking about. My client can also confirm that he has declared his interests, the fact that he is a director to the relevant functionary who is the Permanent Secretary. There is no legal requirement for him to declare to the Founding Father as he has declared to the PS.
“With regard to the tender, he is aware of the tender. He is not aware of any irregularities in the tender and in any event he is surprised that you are directing questions of non-compliance of tender procedures to him,”Namandje said in a telephone interview.
When contacted for comment Kandeshi Shipepe said she wasn’t aware of the ACC investigation.
“I missed last month’s meeting, I am not aware of anything,” she said.
Shipepe’s husband distanced himself from Aurecon saying Kandeshi Shipepe and him have been estranged for nearly three years.
“I have been separated from that woman for a long time now. I have got nothing to do with her business transactions,” he said.
Aurecon’s Managing Director, van Staden also said he wasn’t aware of the ACC investigation into the contract Aurecon was awarded.
“I didn’t know about any investigation. It’s news to me. This contract is an extension of the first phase we completed,” he said.
NAC’s Marketing Officer, Dan Kamati defended the parastatal’s decision to tender exempt the two contracts.
“Please be informed that this project is a continuation of phase One, hence there was no need to go out on tender again. NAC is fully satisfied with the quality of work which was done by both Aurecon and China state, who have managed to adhere to all deadlines without fail.”
These revelations come amid a media storm where the parastatal’s board and senior management are accused of unprocedurally and dubiously dishing out a N$156 million contract to IBB Military Equipment and Accessories Supplies without following set tender procedures.
The NAC senior management also stands accused of suspiciously awarding IBB Military another N$20 million three-year contract for the maintenance of airport scanners it had supplied NAC last year.
IBB Military is owned by Egyptian national Muhammad Omar.
Confidente last week broke the news that Jooste had launched an investigation into how the NAC management together with the parastatal’s board in May applied and granted itself permission to award the N$156 million tender exemption to IBB Military Equipment and Accessories Supplies without seeking ministerial approval first.
NAC purchased 21 check-in counters at a cost of 2 750 600 euros which translates to N$46 750 000, 125 terminal seats at 432 015 euros that is nearly N$7.5 million, 81 CCTV cameras and three control rooms for 340 000 euros- N$5 780 000, communication system for counters 2 250 000 euros- N$38 million, conveyor belts 1 400 000 euros-N$23 800 000, safety equipment N$8 330 000 and the cost of supervision for foreign and local labour is listed as 1 197 895 euros-N$20 364 000. Documents at hand, prepared by the parastatal’s Strategic Executive Projects, IT and Engineering, Courage Silombela reveal that the NAC management had decided to handpick IBB because it is the largest supplier of security equipment to the Namibian army and police force.
Last week the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) confiscated cellphones and computers belonging to the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Tamer El-Kallawi and some of the executives.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015