By Confidente Reporter
A TUSSLE pitting the Khorixas Town Council and the Swapo district executive committee has led to the alleged suspension of a N$7 million road construction tender in the Kunene region town after the council was accused of not following procedures when it awarded the tender to a joint venture late last year.
Several entrepreneurs through a lawyer in that town last year wrote a letter to the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, which was also copied to the Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) as well as to Khorixas Mayor Gerson Goagoseb questioning the evaluation process and the awarding which was reportedly done within two days.
Concerned, the committee reportedly called for an extra-ordinary meeting last week in which a resolution was taken to have the tender put on ice and pave way for investigations into allegations that tender procedures were bypassed.
Sources in the know told Confidente that the council’s acting CEO, a certain Nanus was given the mandate to inform the joint venture of the tender’s cancellation in writing but that she did not do so.
“A special meeting was convened in which it was decided that the tender should be cancelled until investigations into allegations that tender procedures were not followed prove otherwise. The acting CEO was given the mandate to inform in writing those that won the tender that it was cancelled,” the source said.
While the executive committee insists that the tender was put on ice following last week’s meeting, Goagoseb and Nanus said that nothing changed.
“That tender was not cancelled. Yes there was a meeting in which it was suggested that the tender be cancelled to pave way for investigations but that is just not possible. We explained that there will be legal challenges for the council should we stop it. If I’m given the request to stop the tender by the ministry then I will gladly do it. How can we stop something we gave out? I told them we cannot stop the project until the ministry pronounces itself,” Goagoseb said.
Nanus echoed Goagoseb’s views saying, “That is news to me. The tender has not been cancelled. It is ongoing and in fact the guys working on the project collected sand today (Tuesday).”
The letter in question written by the entrepreneurs dated November 18, 2016 with the headline, ‘Unprocedural advertising, opening and award of Tender No: KTC/LTB/0004/2016’, states that the whole process was done in violation of the tender board’s regulations.
“We question the legal evaluation process and award followed and done within two days after the closing of the tender. We are sure that the quality of this project and the required deadline will be compromised, with this action. This may result in the loss of funding within this financial year.
“The normal running period of twenty eight (28) days was not adhered to and the tender ran only for seven (7) days, weekend included from the 2nd – 9th November 2016. No letter or explanatory briefing was presented in any form to the tender participants or public for the ‘’ suspicious tender exemption’’ as required by law or published to justify the process followed. No consultant, although already appointed or their representative as required by law for the tender administration attended the opening of the tender documents and the entire process was facilitated by junior administrative staff members of the council and not by the Chairman of the tender board as it is the normal practice. They only read the name and tender amount of the tenderers and didn’t read the important compulsory tender attachments like, valid good standing certificate of social security, Inland Revenue and company documents. We are not sure who attached and who didn’t comply at all,” part of the letter reads.
According to the letter, the successful tenderers were already known to the public on the 10th of November, just a day after advertising closed. “This is indicative that preferential awarding of the tender took place which is tantamount to corruption. We are also in doubt whether the standard process of examination, evaluation, comparison and non- acceptance of tenders were followed as enshrined in Local Authority tender board regulations.
“Based on the above mentioned facts and many more which will surface if investigation is launched, we the undersigned entrepreneurs appeal an urgent enquiry into the allegations levelled above, we further pray to your good office to put the tender on hold until our concerns are properly investigated and addressed.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015