Swapo's Rundu office delayed

31 May 2019 | Politics

The new Swapo Party office at Rundu is still far from completion.

The contractor, Africa Civil Engineering, had been expected to complete the project by the end of April. Swapo's business arm, Kalahari Holdings, early last year appointed Africa Civil Engineering to build an office for the party at Rundu. Namibian Sun has been reliably informed that the project is valued at around N$7 million.

Neither Kalahari Holdings general manager Etuna Nashima, nor Africa Civil Engineering director Hasho Kapula has commented on the delay.

Nashima refused to comment, while Kapula requested written questions but failed to respond despite repeated reminders.

According to a reliable source, the project was expected to run from May 2018 to the end of April 2019.

The source also said that Africa Civil Engineering diverged from the initial design by installing wooden doors instead of the aluminium ones specified in the contract. They then had to rectify the situation. Namibian Sun understands that the current subcontractor, Nghiweni Investment, is the fourth one appointed by Africa Civil Engineering for this project.

It is believed that the contracts of the first three subcontractors were terminated because they had failed to pay their workers.

Last Friday, there was an incident at the building site where Julius Nghiweni, owner of the subcontracted company, came close to being attacked by employees demanding three months of unpaid wages.

Nghiweni told the media that he refused to pay the workers' wages because of the theft of a generator and building material from the site.

Nghiweni said he was informed that his workers would invite unknown persons onto the site during the day and load cement onto their trucks. A security guard is only on duty at night.

“These guys would just hire a bakkie and it would come on the other side of the building and then they steal the cement bags. I am not making this up, they can confirm, and we have a list of how those who were found having done so and some have paid back the money,” Nghiweni said.

Nghiweni said he was retaining the money paid over by the main contractor to cover the cost of the generator.

After lengthy debates and arguments, the parties later agreed that because none of the workers had confessed to stealing the generator, money would be deducted from their outstanding wages.

Those who were to earn N$3 000 or more would be deducted N$1 000, whereas those owed N$1 500 would be deducted N$500.

Asked why he did not open a police case when the generator disappeared, Nghiweni said his employees had agreed to contribute from their wages to cover the cost.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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