Mega land deal turns sour

A property developer is not taking the cancellation of a multimillion-dollar Angolan land deal with the government lightly.

26 June 2018 | Government

A local company which was on the brink of securing over N$100 million from the government in a property deal in Angola says it is mind-boggling that no treasury exemption was sought, and industrialisation minister Tjekero Tweya must explain.

Afrikuumba business developer Uazuva Kaumbi yesterday slammed the government after finance minister Calle Schlettwein had asked the industrialisation ministry to abandon the reported N$117 million property deal in Luanda with immediate effect.

The Namibian reported yesterday that the government wanted to buy a N$117 million property in Angola, reportedly owned by local businessman Titus Nakuumba.

The newspaper claimed that the property in question included a plot measuring 14 000 square metres and buildings on 20 000 square metres. According to the report, the government apparently wanted to build a business park with offices, workshops, housing units and warehouses.

Kaumbi said there was strong interest in the properties Afrikuumba held in Luanda. According to him both the ministries of industrialisation and works had shown interest in acquiring the properties.

“We need to know what the situation is. We have not received any reasons,” he said.

A delegation from the office of the attorney-general as well as the works and industrialisation ministries had travelled to Luanda according to Kaumbi.

“There was a delegation that went to Luanda. They looked at the property and recommended that the property be bought. We don't understand why no authorisation was given,” he said.

The properties in question, according to Kaumbi, had been offered to the government at a bargain price, with the authorities having the option to pay a deposit and the balance over a four-year period.

According to the report published by The Namibian, the copy of the Luanda land draft agreement of sale shows that the government would pay 10% of US$1 million within 14 days of the signing of the deal, with another US$1.5 million paid before transferring the property into its name.

A further US$7.5 million, the draft agreement of sale stated, was to be paid over four years with interest of 6% per year and at intervals convenient to the buyer.

“Everything is on the property and there was interest to buy the property so why can the ministry of finance not give exemption for the property,” Kaumbi said yesterday.

In a brief statement yesterday, Schlettwein said no treasury approval had been granted. He added that the procurement rules and regulations under the procurement board had not been followed.





Kaumbi was hopeful the ministry of industrialisation would revert back to them and explain why the deal had collapsed when all indications were that it was a go from government's side.

“I am hoping trade minister Tjekero Tweya will explain why no exemption was given,” he said.

Schlettwein was quoted as saying in The Namibian that the industrialisation ministry had not sought any clearance from the treasury and the Central Procurement Board.

Schlettwein also said the ministry should have sought approval from the attorney-general.

“Treasury has looked at it. We sent various queries to trade on their move, and we have not approved it. The Central Procurement Board has now also been approached to exempt it, and there is no exemption given to this effect,” Schlettwein said.

Industrialisation permanent secretary Gabriel Sinimbo would not comment and said that a statement would be issued by the line minister. “Let me say nothing about this at this point,” said Sinimbo.

OGONE TLHAGE

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