Contractor sues govt for N$75m
07 July 2020 | Local News
The works ministry is being taken to court for refusing to pay a contractor N$75.3 million for the construction of the Omusati regional police headquarters.
Last month, Amupolo Building Construction, through its lawyer Pieter Theron, filed a case at the Windhoek High Court, accusing government of breaching the contract.
The contractor is demanding N$6.29 million for acknowledgement of debt, N$686 991 for retention monies and N$68.4 million for extra work.
In November 2013, government awarded Amupolo Building Construction a N$54 million tender to construct the regional headquarters, however, due to a feasibility study that was not conducted at the time of tendering, work could not be finished on time.
The tender amount escalated to N$103 million due to extra work.
According to court documents, in 2017, in a meeting with the works ministry, Amupolo Building Construction owner Erasmus Amupolo was told to hand over the site, which was 98% complete at the time.
“During that meeting, it was agreed that that the plaintiff (Amupolo) would hand over the site to the defendant, that the uncompleted part of work amounted to 10% of the tender cost and that all accrued penalties for delay were expressly waived by [the] defendant,” the court documents read, further adding that monies due for work already completed would be paid.
Failed to pay
Amupolo told Namibian Sun that after handing over the site to the ministry on 16 June 2017, he was penalised N$8 million and was only paid N$39 million, while his invoices for extra work were not paid.
According to Amupolo's claim in court documents, government failed to settle the payment certificate issued by the ministry's principal agent in December 2017 with an amount of N$6.2 million as well as N$68.4 million for extra work.
The government is also accused of failing to fulfil its promise to pay N$686 991, half of the accrued N$1.3 million in retention monies.
Amupolo said part of the extra work included transportation of C4 rocks from Ruacana. As the site is situated in Oshana, they had to use C4 rocks to prevent water from entering the building from underground. Extra work also included re-routing pipelines, foundation work in a swamp area and work relating to a ground beam around the boundary wall.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the ministry through the government attorney filed a notice to defend the matter.
Judge Nate Ndauendapo directed the parties to attend a case planning conference, scheduled to take place on 6 August.