Contractor refuses to hand over clinic

28 May 2020 | Health

Petrus Muronga

RUNDU A contractor appointed to construct the Nkurenkuru primary healthcare facility in 2014, which is yet to be completed, has since April refused to hand over the site to new contractors for the completion of the project. The contractor, Shafombabi Eedopi Construction, was meant to complete the facility on 15 April 2015, but has until now been holding up the health ministry after it resolved to appoint six new contractors to finish the remaining work on the structure. Kavango West governor Sirkka Ausiku approached Nampa to register her frustration over the process, saying she was disappointed in how the contractor has been conducting himself during this time of the state of emergency, in which the facility is needed. Ausiku said the multimillion-dollar facility is meant to be completed to be used as a coronavirus isolation centre. Region at ransom “The contractor has not been forthcoming in handing over the site. The facility is urgently needed, he cannot hold the region at ransom,” said the governor.Ausiku said if there is a dispute between the contractor and the health ministry, he should use other channels to address the matter. 'We are asking him to hand over the site in order for other contractors to complete the facility. My appeal is that the ministry has to ensure that the new contractors report on site as a matter of urgency,” she said. When approached for comment, the owner of the construction company, Andrew Shafombabi, told Nampa there were outstanding issues that needed to be clarified before he surrenders the site to the ministry, adding there were still outstanding payments and they were reconciling these. 95% done “The work is 95% complete but we started experiencing problems when the principal architect, Clarke Architects, left the country in 2017; their departure caused us to experience cash flow problems,” he said. Shafombabi said the situation could have been resolved a long time ago “had it not been for the ministry taking long to resolve the issue”. In 2017, Nampa reported on the stalled N$28 million project when it was visited by former vice-president, the late Nickey Iyambo. At the time, the contractor said they were waiting for material ordered from South Africa. Matter resolved Ministry executive director Ben Nangombe on Monday said there were some disagreements between the ministry and the contractor, but the matter has been resolved. “I personally spoke to the contractor and we have resolved the outstanding issue,” he said.Probed about the prolonged time it took for the matter to be resolved, Nangombe said there were a number of factors involved, “but what matters is that the issues have been resolved and the new contractors will start with the work very soon”. - Nampa

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