'Missing millions' mystery at Okahao

19 June 2019 | Infrastructure

The upgrading and renovation work at the Okahao district hospital, which had been abandoned eight years amid allegations that the contractor had received an upfront payment of N$17 million, has resumed.

Efforts by former health minister Bernard Haufiku to recover the money paid to Messrs failed, after health officials disagreed with him about the upfront payment, claiming that the N$17 million was in fact not paid upfront to Messrs Property Decorative Developer and that the company had not run away with any government funds.

The project was abandoned by Messrs for no apparent reason in 2010 and has now been awarded to a Namibian-owned company that has subcontracted the work to a Chinese firm and a local SME.

The project includes upgrading the hospital's outpatient department, pharmacy, radiography department, dental clinic, laboratory, eye clinic and communicable disease control (CDC) department.

In 2012 the works ministry cancelled Messrs' contract.

According to Omusati health director Alfons Amoomo the project cost currently stands at N$23 million and construction resumed in December last year.

The projected is expected to be completed by the end of July next year.

Amoomo confirmed it includes the casualty section and the construction of ablution facilities.

“The (new) contractor is a Namibian-owned company which has subcontracted a Chinese-owned company and other Namibian SME. Construction work started last year December and is expected to be completed at the end of July 2020. Most importantly, the renovation is progressing well and is on track,” Amoomo said.

Haufiku, during his tenure that was abruptly ended in December last year by President Hage Geingob, started a process to recover N$16 million of the N$17 million paid to Messrs in 2010.

According to Haufiku, the money was paid to the company before work started on the project.

He said the work done before the project was abandoned had not been worth N$17 million.

Haufiku said at the time that the works ministry had monitored the project and he did not understand how the contractor could be paid before doing the work.

This came to light in 2015 when the hospital's senior medical officer, Dr Mary Nandjebo, said about N$17 million had been paid to the contractor.

However, the ministry's senior health programme officer, Martin Mukulu, asserted that the ministry had only paid for work done and approved by the consultants on the project.

“There was no advance payment on this project and therefore the contractor did not run away with any government funds. The contractor also forfeited the performance guarantee provided to government on the project as part of the contract agreement and conditions of employment,” Mukulu said.

Mukulu's version was supported by Amoomo who said no advance payment was done and therefore no money could be recovered.

“The contractor was never paid such an amount and the ministry has followed all procedures as outlined in the contract agreement. For example, most of their construction materials and equipment were retained and handed over to the new contractor,” Amoomo said.

Efforts to get comment from Haufiku, who is now a special advisor on health issues in the Office of the President, failed as he could not be reached on his cellphone.

ILENI NANDJATO

Similar News

 

Billions for new power lines

2 weeks ago - 29 August 2019 | Infrastructure

As part of its new strategic plan, NamPower is expected to spend upward of N$1 billion on the construction of three new heavy-current power lines...

Logistics vision gathers steam

3 weeks ago - 27 August 2019 | Infrastructure

Recent upgrades to Namibia's roads, railways and ports have brought the country closer to reaching logistical and economic targets.According to the Walvis Bay Corridor Group...

Fire kills one, destroys vessel

4 weeks ago - 19 August 2019 | Infrastructure

A man was killed when the hake trawler Ocean Tide moored at the jetty of Seawork Fish Processors in Walvis Bay caught fire below deck...

Bypass cuts deep

4 weeks ago - 19 August 2019 | Infrastructure

Residents of Vergenoeg, an 'illegal' settlement on the western outskirts of Okahandja, held a community meeting on Saturday afternoon. The purpose was to discuss the...

Air Nam flight delays due to grounded pilots

1 month - 16 August 2019 | Infrastructure

Complaints are flooding in from frustrated Air Namibia customers who say they had to spend hours at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) because of delayed...

Millions for Windhoek’s informal settlements

1 month - 15 August 2019 | Infrastructure

The ministry of urban and rural development has set aside N$50 million to improve the living conditions of Windhoek’s informal settlements residents for the 10...

CoW delivers zero serviced plots in 2017/18

1 month - 13 August 2019 | Infrastructure

Despite setting sights on delivering 430 serviced erven for residential, business and institutional purposes during the 2017/18 financial year, the City of Windhoek (CoW) failed...

RFA considers toll roads

1 month - 09 August 2019 | Infrastructure

The Road Fund Administration (RFA) wants to investigate the viability of tolling Namibian roads as a potential additional revenue stream to the Road User Charging...

Rail limits Namport

1 month - 02 August 2019 | Infrastructure

While the expansion of the Walvis Bay port has been welcomed as a boon for the economy, the lack of a modern rail line to...

Zim dry port inaugurated

1 month - 29 July 2019 | Infrastructure

Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa inaugurated his country's dry port facility in Walvis Bay on Friday. This formed part of his official state visit to Namibia....

Latest News

Legal bullet aimed at cops

16 hours ago | Justice

A Namibian police officer and his bosses are defending a N$3 million lawsuit brought by a grieving mother whose four-year-old son was killed by a...

Botswana boots Namibian refugees

16 hours ago | International

The deportation of 855 Namibian refugees living in Botswana will start today after Botswana nullified their refugee status. The now illegal immigrants have refused...

The next big thing

16 hours ago | People

Elizabeth Joseph #TeamGraduate is a project that was started by Helena Mboti, a Rhodes University alumnus who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in financial...

The next big thing

16 hours ago | People

Elizabeth Joseph #TeamGraduate is a project that was started by Helena Mboti, a Rhodes University alumnus who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in financial accounting...

Our cadre deployment curse

16 hours ago | Opinion

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste’s frank admission that appointing the right board members to parastatals is pivotal to ensuring their success must have been music...

Respect is a two-way street

16 hours ago | Columns

Octavia Tsibes Imagine being kind, humble and respectful. You have nothing to lose, and as a matter of fact, it costs you nothing to be...

To the brave souls walking...

16 hours ago | Health

The dictionary defines brave as ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage. More often than not it is the ‘visible’ bravery that...

HKIA upgrades start, finally

16 hours ago | Transport

The handling capacity of Hosea Kutako International Airport will be doubled by a N$250 million project starting next week to eliminate congestion at Namibia's flagship...

Health services around the clock

16 hours ago | Health

The Katutura health centre, which offers a lifeline to thousands of people each year, will now be operating 24 hours a day, seven days a...

Load More