Cries over August 26 tender

Cries over August 26 tender
Cries over August 26 tender

Africa-Press – Namibia. Residents of Omaheke region have vented their frustration and dissatisfaction over a tender awarded to NDF company August 26 to construct ablution facilities to the tune of N$10 million.

The frustrated communities have cited unfairness as their chief reason. August 26 Construction was awarded the tender to construct eight ablution facilities at eight primary schools in Omaheke.

According to the community, the tender was awarded under clandestine circumstances by Omaheke’s education directorate to the exclusion and detriment of companies owned by Omaheke’s inhabitants.

Speaking on behalf of the disgruntled, community activist Wallace Finnies in Gobabis claimed procedures were flouted in the awarding process. He said the recruitment of local people to work as general workers was not applied.

“This is very clear in one of the conditions, but August 26 Construction brought 50 to 60 workers from outside Omaheke region. They were told to employ local people, unless it is specialists which the region does not have,” lamented Finnies.

The activist, who is also the community headman, claimed that August 26 has been allowed to breach the regulations of the tender, a situation the procurement department has turned a blind eye to, or has done nothing to rectify.

“August 26 operates as if they are above the tender laws of the country, especially in this region. Until now, there is no official from the Omaheke Regional Council (ORC) who intervened in this matter. Hence, we believe that ORC, governor [Pijoo Nganate], agreed that August 26 can ignore tender regulations in the region,” Finnies charged, before calling on Nganate and the region’s education directorate to intervene by immediately suspending August 26’s operations until their concerns are addressed.

“This is not fair. Decentralisation in the Omaheke region is acting against the workers and companies in the region. We will not allow our political administrative leaders and officials to kill us deliberately by using our own tax money against us in the region,” the headman vented.

Finnies said he is puzzled by Nganate’s Omaheke hunger eradication rhetoric while even odd jobs are given to individuals not residing in the region, to the exclusion of locals.

“We fail to understand how we can kill hunger here in the region while jobs are given to inhabitants of other regions. Our governor always emphasised that point, but today August 26 is here with its workforce, and we will remain poor and hungry,” he complained.

Attempts to get comment from acting Omahake education director Conswari Wantenaar proved futile, as questions sent to her days ago had not been responded to by yesterday.

When this publication sought clarity from Nganate and Omaheke’s chief regional officer Pecka Semba, it hit a brick wall. On his part, August 26 CEO Ndajoina Shalumbu said he has taken note of the allegations and would take them up internally to determine their veracity.

“For now, we cannot comment further on the said allegations, until we get a final report on the matter,” he said.

The construction of eight toilets will take place at the Tsjaka Benhur, Ernst Meyer, Tallismanus, Drimiopsis, #Haonantbes, Omitara Gqaina, and Otjinene primary schools.

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