The controversial US$67 million tender for the construction of the Prime Minister’s Office in Namibia has been referred back to tender board for more discussion.
The controversial tender for the building of the office has been sent back and forth between the Tender Board of Namibia and the works ministry since last month, with claims of political hand in the tender process.
The tender board is also undecided on whether government has enough money to fund construction of the Prime Minister’s office in Namibia.
The tender was scheduled to be discussed in a meeting at last week but it was omitted on the agenda under unclear circumstances, despite some members struggling to sneak it into the ‘any other businesses’ item
Vaino Nghipondoka, a tenderprenuer and his company Babyface Civils together with their partners China Jiangxi International are at the center of this controversy.
There are also reports that a section of the tender board members are pushing for Nghipondoka’s outfit to secure the tender, against many shortcomings in their bid. A noticeable shortcoming is the fact that Nghipondoka’s Babyface Civils is not a certified employer as far as the affirmative action laws are concerned.
The pro-Nghipondoka section in the tender board is also said to enjoy a lot of support from senior officials in the ministry of works.
Officials from the ministry of works are said to have been intimidated and told that the decision to go with Babyface came from “higher authorities”. Nghipondaka has however declined to give comment on the matter.
The controversial tender is coming at a moment when the government is under criticism for arranging to build a US$133 million parliament at the expense of more pressing and urgent priorities and needs.
Land activists under the umbrella of the Affirmative repositioning movement have organized a protest march to agitate against the construction of a new parliament building.