By Confidente Reporter
AS investigations into the alleged unprocedural awarding of a N$7 million road tender to a joint venture in Khorixas intensifies, it has emerged that the town’s mayor Gerson Goagoseb reportedly snubbed council’s resolution to have the project stopped pending investigations into the awarding process.
Council according to documents in Confidente’s possession resolved to put on ice the multi-million dollar project to pave way for investigations in the evaluation and awarding process that was reportedly done within two days. The matter is so sensitive to an extent that it has caused a tussle between council and the Swapo district executive committee with parties advocating for and against the project’s suspension.
“The extraordinary council meeting held 13 January 2017 resolved in terms of the Local Authority Act, 1992…to put under investigation the capital project awarded by the Local Tender Board which entailed the construction of gravel roads within the Mass Housing and BTP area, sanitation facilities and installation of pre-paid water meters at Kaira-Khoen !Goas area within Khorixas Town Council: Y-bock, allocated under a joint venture between Kunene River Construction & Electrical cc and Natus Trading cc. The investigation will last for 10 consecutive working days as from 16 January 2017 (Monday) till the 27th of January for further investigations on allegations/consensus made, to resolve the said consensus/disputes and public outcry encountered as a result of the awarding process.
“It was further resolved that the contractors be ordered to stop the project with immediate effect until further notice for the duration of the investigation process,” council documents read in part.
Two days after the resolution was passed, Goagoseb wrote to acting chief executive officer Ester Nanus requesting the non-implementation of the council’s resolution.
“Under council resolution no. 8 113/01/2017 it was resolved amongst others to stop the project awarded under tender nr KTC/LTB/004/2016. I would hereby like to make a special request to hold the issuance of the notice to the contractors to stop the project until further notice to the office of the acting chief executive officer.
“I take the responsibility to answer to the management committee on the non-implementation of the said resolution for the time that I have requested for the stopping notice to be issued to the contractors,” reads Goagoseb’s letter.
Goagoseb when contacted for comment on why he requested for the non-implementation of council’s resolution said, “I am not dealing with that project. Talk to people who implemented the resolution,” he said.
Goagoseb earlier this year was however quoted saying, “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.”
Entrepreneurs in the town last November wrote to urban and rural development ministry -a letter which was copied to the Anti-Corruption Commission- asking for intervention in the process they said 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.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015