Shafudah denies allegations

The finance ministry's permanent secretary has denied any wrongdoing in her handling of a multibillion-dollar government tender.

19 May 2017 | Government

Ministry of finance permanent secretary Ericah Shafudah insists that she has maintained compliance with regard to the issuance of a tender for the construction of a multibillion-dollar fuel storage facility.

Cabinet secretary George Simataa issued Shafudah with a final written warning for her failure to attend Technical Committee meetings as required by her position as permanent secretary.

Giving her side of the matter, Shafudah said: “I want to place it on record that I have attended Technical Committee meetings to which I have been invited. I also have it on record that where I did not attend, an apology was extended.”

According to her, she also informed the Technical Committee by way of writing and verbally that the stated currency of the tender must be Namibia dollar.

“Regarding the disputed issue of currency fluctuations on the tender, I have maintained the position that the tender was awarded in Namibian dollars. I presented this position to the Technical Committee in writing,” she said.

“I have also verbally and in writing stated this position on various occasions to the relevant authorities. This consistent position that I have always maintained has also been acknowledged as legally correct in the purported 'final written warning'.”

Shafudah said she was prepared to furnish proof of her attendance to whoever had permission to request such information.

“I have given the correct advice on the matter to the Technical Committee and to the relevant authorities. I am also prepared to provide evidence to any platform or persons with a mandate to such evidence.”

Denying the allegations against her, she said: “I reject any opinion or insinuation from any quarter that describes me as an official who is incompetent and was negligent in the performance of duties as PS of the Ministry of Finance.”

According to Simataa, Shafudah did not attend Technical Committee meetings pertaining to the fuel storage tender.

DTA secretary for finance Nico Smit came out strongly and criticised the government for not imposing harsher penalties on Shafudah.

“If negligence and recklessness in the performance of your duties results in the government losing N$1.7 billion and this only leads to a temporary 12-month 'final' warning, then the question becomes, what level of negligence is required to have someone removed from their position,” Smit said earlier this week.


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