Swapo vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has added her voice against the controversial medical tenders, saying the country’s opulence should benefit the masses, as opposed to a select few.
The diplomat has over the years deployed a wait-and-see approach on topical political issues in the
public domain. But this time around, she was not going to remain silent. Addressing employees of the international relations ministry last week, the Swapo VP made her voice heard on the controversial medical supplies tender.
About three weeks ago, the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) released tender award details for an array of medical supplies, worth over N$2 billion.
Among them were tenders to supply surgical gloves and condoms to the State, preliminarily awarded to companies owned by health tender magnate Shapwa Kanyama.
Kanyama’s three-year-old Amnics Trading secured tenders worth around N$650 million, igniting the public’s ire.
At the heart of the anger is that the CPBN failed to do due diligence to establish whether Amnics Trading has an actual manufacturing plant for surgical goods and condoms.
Strangely, they were favoured ahead of other suppliers on the basis that it is a “local manufacturer”.
It later turned out that Amnics does not manufacture condoms, but only packages the same after importing from Malaysia.
The tender has now captured Nandi-Ndaitwah’s attention. “The year has also been characterised by the much-discussed, highly questionable health tenders. I am glad that the public’s cry has been heard, and that the health tender is being reviewed. One calls for fairness and due diligence to prevail,” she stressed.
Last year, Nandi-Ndaitwah ran her campaign for the Swapo vice presidency on the integrity ticket. “Namibia has enough resources that
can be utilised for the wellbeing of our people. What is required is the right focus and right mind to address the needs of the nation, as opposed to individual interests,” she added.
Nandi-Ndaitwah, Swapo’s flag-carrier at the general elections next year, then moved to say a situation cannot continue unabated where the country’s wealth benefits only a few.
She thus called on those dealing with public resources and assets to be sensitive, honest and sincere. “Otherwise, we will create room for the ugly face of corruption to destroy all our hard work. We must know, corruption is the highest enemy of sustainable development, and should be fought in all its forms,” she continued.
She is not alone, as the pressure keeps mounting on the CPBN to cancel the controversial tender. The Swapo politburo also met last week to deliberate on the tender. It resolved that the review process instituted by the CPBN, following the public’s outcry, should run its course, it was reported.
On Friday, the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) took its disappointment to the CPBN’s doorsteps.
Like many other formations, the orange
army too is protesting the award.
“We are gathered here to express our immense dissatisfaction and frustration regarding the N$2.8 billion health tender, awarded undoubtedly with bias to the economic elite and the politically-connected.
We have noted with great concern the continued betrayal that we continue to witness in this country about grand corruption,
judging from [the] Fishrot case to the current problems at the Central Procurement Board of Namibia. The continued smokescreen to show the international world that our policies are fair, just and good, is a hypocrisy,” former Windhoek mayor Sade Gawanas said on behalf of the
The LPM also poked holes in the procurement body. “The theory of the system on paper and in your defence looks palatable. All the instruments or indicators to take a decision or to evaluate the process is made dysfunctional because of practical challenges experienced at the CPBN,” reads the petition.
It is the LPM’s hope that those at the helm there understand its mandate.
“We will also assume that you understand that you have failed in practice to promote integrity, accountability, transparency, competitive supply, effectiveness, efficiency, fair dealing, value for money, responsiveness, informed decision-making, consistency, legality and integration in the procurement, the letting and hiring of anything, and the acquisition or granting of rights,” Gawanas told interim CPBN boss Amon Ngavetene. The leftist party made it clear that it was not at Ngavetene’s behest.
“We are not begging, and will not either in the future, for our right to be recognised, respected and valued because we represent the future of this country. The Central Procurement Board of Namibia should set aside its decision and restart the entire tender process,” the movement demanded. The LPM added that “30% of tenders should be awarded to enterprises owned by youth, as defined in the National Youth Policy of Namibia”. -email@example.com