…As Burmeister ‘gifts’ his son with tuition fees
By Patience Nyangove
CONTROVERSY surrounds the awarding of a bursary by one of the Ministry of Works and Transport’s consulting engineering companies, Burmeister & Partners to the Ministry’s deputy director of engineering services, Emmanuel Mwangosi’s son, to further his studies at Coventry University in the United Kingdom, Confidente has learnt.
Burmeister has in the past five years been awarded consulting jobs in Government projects hovering around N$500 million.
Some of the projects include the upgrading of the Outapi Abattoir – phase1 at a cost of N$21 million completed in 2014, the new Ongwediva Meat Processing Plant, at a cost of N$78 million and completed in 2015, bulk earthworks for the Windhoek fresh produce business hub, at a cost of N$150 million which is still under construction, the construction of Ongwediva Fresh produce Hub valued at N$108 million completed in 2012, construction of Rundu Fresh produce hub at a cost of N$112 million completed in 2012 and the national Forensic Science Institute, at N$4 million completed in 2013.
According to documents in Confidente’s possession, in October last year Burmeister made an electronic payment of N$100 000 which translated to 4.721.44 British pounds through one local bank towards Mwangosi’s son studies.
Burmeister’s Managing Director, Ronald Kubas, Tuesday denied that the funding of Mwangosi’s son could compromise him despite the fact that he has an influential position in the awarding of consulting jobs to companies that include Burmeister.
“We have advertised for bursaries every year and have given bursaries every year. We can’t discriminate anyone based on their parents’ work. I can’t see where there is conflict of interest here,” he said.
Mwangosi while initially evasive on his son receiving a bursary from Burmeister, he later admitted that indeed his son’s tuition had been partially paid by the company after Confidente asked him why he was denying the matter when Burmeister had already admitted to awarding his son a bursary.
Mwangosi also initially wanted proof from the journalist on Burmeister sponsoring his son’s education.
Mwangosi while denying that there was any conflict of interest also revealed that his son had done his attachment at the same firm.
“First of all the young man who is my son underwent practical training at Burmeister & Partners. How he got that attachment could be me referring him just like others who come here. I have done a lot to assist them, a majority who are Namibian. I advised my son to go there. I advised my son just as I do with other children, my son can’t be an exception. Later on he applied for a scholarship to study and the university he went to is Coventry University in the United Kingdom.
“Burmeister is a consultancy firm and there is no way one person can influence a committee of 18 people, not even the chairperson of that committee can influence the awarding of a contract,” he said.
Mwangosi also added that people should not try to tarnish the image of others by spreading baseless and malicious rumours.
“My son got the scholarship based on merit nothing else. I am not a man to joke with. My children get scholarships based on merit.”
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Willem Goeieman said the matter had been reported to him and he had since established that there was no case.
“The matter was reported to me and I established that there was no case. His son can get a bursary just like other Namibian citizens,” he said.
Six years ago, Mwangosi was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on charges of attempting to accept a N$10 000 bribe.
According to media reports Mwangosi then attempted to use his office to obtain gratification from a company, appointed by the Ministry of Works to render certain services regarding a capital project.
Mwangosi was arrested after ACC officials conducted a sting operation and was granted N$7 000 bail. At the time of going to print, Confidente had not managed to establish what had become of the ACC’s case against Mwangosi.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015