Mutorwa justifies Roadhart’s re-appointment

Home National Mutorwa justifies Roadhart’s re-appointment
Mutorwa justifies Roadhart’s re-appointment

Transport minister John Mutorwa says there is nothing amiss about re-appointing the same contractor without going on tender for the second phase of a project. 

According to him, such re-appointments prevent delays, and it is cheaper to keep the same contractor on site as opposed to bringing in a new one on board.

Mutorwa was speaking during the commissioning of the 35km phase two of the Charlie Cutline gravel road in the Kavango West, where road betterment works are underway. 

“We are happy now to announce to the world that the second phase has already started. I must inform everybody that right from the beginning, we never had problems here with the contractor,” Mutorwa said. The project for emergency road betterment works (RBU) for phase 1 of the same road was also awarded to Roadhart on 30 May 2022 for a period of six months. Work commenced on 1 June 2022 and was completed on 30 November 2022 at a total cost of N$30 432 365. Phase 1 was planned to stretch for 41km but the gravel layer was only completed for 35km on the main road, with another 4km constructed to provide access to Satotwa school.

The minister added that the Public Procurement Act requires that public goods and services that government or State-owned enterprises must be acquired through a transparent public procurement system, where tenders are invited from different people. 

“But the same Public Procurement Act also says that when you have a project that is executed in phases and you have a contractor like them, the same Public Procurement Act makes provision that you can appoint the same contractor to continue with the next phase,” he explained.

Mutorwa said the decision to continue with the same contractor will save taxpayers’ money. 

“If you have a contractor who is performing well and you allow that contractor to compete through a tender [for the second phase], and it is out-played by someone new, the old contractor packs his or her equipment from the site and a new one now has to mobilise to get equipment on site. It is expensive, and there will be delays,” he said. 

The Charlie Cutline road or DR3446 is located between Cassava village at the intersection with T0803 (Murarani – Rundu road), stretching to Elavi village at the intersection with T1501 (Tsitsabis – Katwitwi road). It is 138km long.

The route is a vital aorta, connecting the Kavango West, Kavango East, Oshikoto and Ohangwena regions. 

In the Kavango West region, DR3446 runs through approximately 95 farms, numerous schools and clinics. 

“If you look at the activities along this road, it is mainly agricultural activities, animal husbandry, rearing cattle and goats – also planting crops – so already, one can see that this is a road that will help stimulate rural-economic development in the true sense of the word,” he said. 

Mutorwa urged the community, and the site staff to work together in order to achieve the project within the specified time frame.

Speaking at the same occasion was Kavango West governor Sirkka Ausiku, who welcomed the second phase. 

“We have a government that heard our plight, although it doesn’t happen when we expect it, since the 2014 development has been coming to Mankumpi constituency. We received a new constituency office, and the issue with the road has been taken to the attention of government – and last year, the minister of works came to do a groundbreaking for the construction of this road. To date, the first phase has been achieved – and now, we are seeing the start of the second phase,” Ausiku said.