• November 22nd, 2018
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Procurement red tape hampers prison food deliveries

National
National

Nuusita Ashipala ONGWEDIVA – The Namibian Police Force (Nampol) has added its voice of discontent against the current Public Procurement Act, saying it presents bottlenecks to the timely delivery of food to trial-awaiting and convicted inmates across the country. Nampol Inspector-General, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, said while he is in support of the general principle of the Act, which is to weed out corruption and maladministration from public procurement processes, the law has brought about costly delays in service delivery. He said the procurement process needs to be adjusted, especially for sectors such as the police and schools, where people have to be fed daily. Early this month CEOs of public enterprises, during their general annual meeting in Swakopmund, also raised similar concerns. Recent media reports suggest that the Central Procurement Board, which handles all public tenders above a certain threshold, is yet to make an award since its inception in March last year. Ndeitunga said food for inmates is currently only procured in Windhoek. He said the process to secure food is further delayed by officials who are still coming to grips with the new system of procurement. “The process is designed to improve management, but it is a bit cumbersome and as a result we are experiencing challenges,” Ndeitunga said in a recent interview. The recent death of 41-year-old Nangolo Silas who died in the police holding cells in Ondangwa was linked to a lack of food. Although the inmate was ill, sources allege that Nangolo was denied medical assistance by the police and like all the other inmates only received one or two meals per day. It is further alleged there are pending unpaid invoices and as a result food is sourced from Windhoek, disadvantaging the inmates. The police acting spokesperson in Oshana Region, Inspector Petrus Iimbili, said the suspect died in the holding cells but was in the process of being taken to hospital. He was arrested in Oshikoto for theft and housebreaking. The police could not confirm how long he was detained. Ndeitunga said both allegations warrant an investigation and did not want to pre-empt the process by making a conclusive statement on the matter. “But the police are obliged to ensure every ailing inmate is taken to hospital when it so requires,” Ndeitunga said sternly. He also refused to dwell on the unpaid invoices, saying he will need to find out. “We are feeding the inmates, but as I said the system needs to be adjusted,” said Ndeitunga.
New Era Reporter
2018-06-28 09:10:35 4 months ago

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