Africure suffers legal setback

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Africure suffers legal setback

Africure Pharmaceuticals Namibia, a local company that supplied antiretroviral medication to the health ministry had its tender challenge against the Central Procurement Board of Namibia and the ministry struck from the Windhoek High Court’s roll yesterday for lack of urgency.

Judge Kobus Miller said Africure failed to satisfy the court’s set requirements to jump the queue and have a matter heard on an urgent basis.

Furthermore, “the applicant (Africure) did not make it clear why the matter was urgent.” 

Thus, Miller struck the matter from the court’s roll and deemed it finalised. He ordered Africure to bear the cost of suit.

Africure, a company run by businessman Shapwa Kanyama wanted the court to interdict the CPBN from entering into any procurement contracts with any of the successful bidders in a tender for the supply of antiretroviral (ARV) medication to the health ministry. 

The contract in question is said to run for 12 months. The company wants such an interdict to be in force until its review application is finalised by the courts.

Africure, tendered to supply 19 types of ARV medication at the cost of N$342.7 million, however, the company only managed to secure a tender to supply only two types of ARV, at a total N$722 832. 

CPBN selected Windhoek Medical Solutions to supply five of the types of ARVs valued at N$219.3 million.

In court documents, Kanyama claims that the CPBN did not take into consideration that his company, Africure is a wholly owned Namibian company, a local manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and a locally registered manufacturer of ARVs. Furthermore, the company claims to have set up a factory to the tune of N$89 million employing 38 Namibians.

He said the CPBN also failed to apply the government’s directive on preferential procurement when it evaluated its bid.

He went on to say that the company would suffer financial and irreparable harm should the contracts forge ahead, and it would be forced to retrench the employees due to the small award, as it would not be able to sustain their remuneration.

CPBN chairperson Amon Ngavetene in his replying affidavit said Africure is no longer supplying ARVs to the health ministry as its 2021 contract came to an end on 1 February.

He said, based on the documents the company submitted, it is a “packer” and authorised to import medicine. Thus, is not a local manufacturer of pharmaceutical products.

Ngavetene went on to say there were discrepancies in the information the company submitted.

He further claims that Africure’s financial statements also do not reflect the N$89 million it claims to have used in the setting up of its local factory.

Africure’s first suit concerning the said tender filed on 23 January was struck from the roll, for the company’s failure to properly serve those it was suing.