Nuusita Ashipala Ongwediva-Aggrieved businesses in Ongwediva have accused the Ongwediva Town Council of awarding a tender to a foreign company at the expense of local companies that have bid a much lower price for the construction of the Ehenge road. Ehenge road stretches from the corner of Mweshipandeka Secondary School at the Zola intersection to Select Service Station. The business community alleged that the tender was awarded to a joint venture company between a Zambian and a Chinese company to tar the less than 3km gravel road. Meanwhile a demonstration to disregard the awarding of the tender has been shelved. However, New Era is reliably informed that two companies have already submitted their objection to freeze the tender and to allow due processes to be followed. The town’s Chief Executive Officer Damian Egumbo could not confirm the allegations citing that the tender was awarded in his absence as he has been on leave since the festive season. “I am still on leave I can only provide clarity when I get to the office next week once I get my facts right,” said Egumbo. New Era has been reliably informed that the scope of work was reduced after the tender had been closed, however other companies that bid for the same tender had not been notified to that effect. Public relations officer at Ongwediva Town Council Jackson Muma could not provide the value of the project, however, sources alleged that the winning company has taken the tender at N$11.8 million. Muma said that all subsequent process were undertaken and all the bidders were issued with notices for award, maintaining that there was no tender awarded as yet and instead the bidders were only issued with notices of intend to award. Muma said council only received objections from two companies which council will deal with in accordance to the act. Muma further added that it should be noted that the awarding of tenders is not only determined by price. “Other factors are taken into consideration such as the responsiveness to the technical specifications and the submission of valid compulsory documents, amongst others,” said Muma. Chairperson of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) northern branch Tomas Iindji as well as the chairperson of the Ongwediva branch Veikko Haimbodi said they have both received the complaint. Haimbodi said they have only heard one version from the business community and wait to hear from the town council. Josua Haimbodi of Emirates said it was disheartening to hear that a Windhoek-based foreign company is being awarded a tender while they have unutilised machinery in Windhoek. “We have the capacity and the machinery. Council should tell us why they did that. We will not tolerate that it has been 15 years that Ongwediva has been sidelining us,” said Haimbodi. Another businessman who tendered for the same project, David Sheehama of Kambwa Trading said he has not yet been notified officially but has heard of the ongoing talks. “I have no objection against a foreign company being given work, but preference should be given to Namibian companies so that the money can keep rotating in the country,” said Sheehama. Iindji appealed to members of the business community to familiarise themselves with the Namibia Public Procurement Act and Regulations.
2018-01-24 09:09:00 8 months ago