RUNDU - The Minister of Works and Transport, John Mutorwa, says one of the reasons why some government projects that are budgeted for do not get completed is the bad attitude of officials who do not supervise the progress of projects to ensure their completion.
Mutorwa made the remarks recently when he visited the regional offices of the Namibia Meteorological Services in Rundu, which have been standing incomplete due to some defective work by the contractor, and the electrical work is still incomplete and air conditioners still not installed.
New Era understands the main contractor failed to pay the electrical subcontractor as well as the subcontractor who was supposed to install air conditioners, so they stopped work due to that payment dispute with the main contractor.
Currently meteorological services are done at the government residence of a staffer.
The site handover was done on August 30, 2013 and was supposed to be completed in 29 weeks by March 21, 2014 but the building currently stands at 90 percent physical progress. The original contract was estimated to be N$5.7 million and it escalated to over N$7 million and to date N$5.3 million has been paid to the contractor. “This no-care attitude is costing government a lot of money for nothing and there are quite a number of projects in the ministry of works that I am aware of that are standing incomplete since I came there, because staff who are supposed to supervise are not doing their job, but people are very quick to write out cheques,” he said.
“This is money from the Namibian people, and the building is still not being utilised and the money is gone. People are disappointed in this country, and they show their disappointment through the government that they elect, but then the government is served by experts, both us as politicians and you staff as experts must have the same feelings. Can you imagine this building being in this state, coming here we are just greeted by long grass of an abandoned site,” he said.
“Somebody was at least supposed to keep it clean and you are saying he abandoned the site in 2015 and you are telling me you have been in the process of terminating the contract since then and all that I can see is that the heart to finish the work is not there, I mean come on, this building is not mine, it’s for the Namibian people,” he continued.
“The place is not even kept clean, there is no commitment but there must be a commitment, it’s a year of accountability, and I can tell you that accountability is not confined to politicians. All of us, whatever work you do in government, all of us must account, but you don’t do your work. You are paid but you don’t feel what I’m feeling,” he added.
Mutorwa said there are many incomplete and abandoned capital projects around the country that have been budgeted for and he is not happy with the lack of project implementation.
Apart from the regional offices of the meteorological services here in Rundu the new maternity ward of the Rundu intermediate hospital is also incomplete and idle for years, and the ministry of fisheries regional office as well as the ministry of lands and resettlement regional offices have also been abandoned to name but a few and these capital projects have been incomplete for years, some for almost a decade. In Nkurenkuru, the Primary Health Care Clinic has been abandoned but has been under construction since the era of former head of state Hifikepunye Pohamba.
“The clinic in Nkurenkuru has been abandoned, this is maybe the 6th year if I’m not mistaken, and the lifespan of a government, the president and members of parliament and also the regional council is five years, but these projects are standing beyond five years and they are incomplete,” he said.
“The other day Namibian contractors through the workers union demonstrated and they said they are not getting government tenders and so on, but they are getting tenders, the contractor here is a Namibian, the tender was given and this happens, many do get tenders but they abandon sites and people don’t get the facility they deserve, the infrastructure is incomplete,” he said.