Don't flout tender procedures

11 April 2019 | Opinion

Alleged corrupt practices at the ministry of works are far from over. This time around questions are being asked by investigators as to how the accounting officer in the ministry, Willem Goeiemann approved a N$2.4 million tender awarded to ADDI Investment Africa for the demolition of a hotel in the centre of Okahandja. According to reports, the tender award has reportedly caused a major rift between works deputy minister James Sankwasa and the executive director, Goeiemann, while accusations of self-interest and underhanded dealings are being bandied around. “It would appear there was no competitive bidding, which is in contravention of the new Public Procurement Act. We are also investigating the relationship between the alleged role players in the matter, as well as the tender pricing for a project that merely ought to have involved the demolition of walls,” Anti-Corruption Commission head of investigations Nelius Becker was quoted telling Namibian Sun this week. The ministry of works must be put on the spot and taken to task to account for this highly questionable tender as this transaction stinks. A N$2.4 million demolition tender clearly defies logic and the accounting officer must explain why such a huge tender was dished out without being advertised without inviting for competitive bids. This country is economically bleeding at the moment due to a number of factors and a corruption is one of them. There must be a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption given its adverse impact on our economy. Government has developed a new procurement system to tackle corruption and malpractice in public procurement. The days of public tenders being openly flouted with impunity are over and those found to be on the wrong side should be dealt with. As a government we can ill afford to have our annual procurement spend deeply compromised by corruption and the flouting of tender rules. We must therefore declare war against corruption, especially in the public service where taxpayers’ money is at stake. Enough is enough.

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