Africa-Press – Namibia. Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliamentarian Nico Smit, yesterday called for the dissolution of the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN). At a media briefing in the capital, Smit said PDM is convinced there is no other conclusion to be drawn other than for the entire CPBN to be fired, by its own admission, for incompetence.
Smit was specifically referring to the medical supply tender recently awarded by the board to, among others, companies owned by businessman Shapwa Kanyama, who bagged a N$650 million tender.
After the news that Kanyama was awarded the tender, criticism flooded the board from the public and politicians.
About a week ago at a press conference, procurement board’s head, Amon Ngavetene said the CPBN conceded no due diligence was done to determine whether businesses linked to Kanyama have actual manufacturing capacity, or if they just exist on paper.
The CPBN also admitted that the only reason why Kanyama’s companies were favoured in State tender awards ahead of others companies is because he presented these as ‘local manufacturers’. Kanyama’s company was awarded the tender despite bidding millions of dollars more than the closest competitor.
In a statement yesterday, Smit blasted the health minister, Kalumbi Shangula, for saying it would be very costly to redo the tender. Kalumbi also cautioned about “serious repercussions” for hospitals and clinics.
“It must be pointed out that according to the Companies’ Act, board members are jointly and severally responsible for any negative results of their decisions.Therefore, not only should these board members be fired, but they should be held liable for any such extra costs incurred,” said PDM finance shadow minister.
Smit added that it seems that Shangula is trying to persuade Namibia’s hard-pressed taxpayers that it is okay to squander limited funds to cover up the incompetence of his ministry and the tender board.
“Surely, Shangula cannot be suggesting that Kanyama be allowed to score a large amount of the taxpayers’ money simply because the tender board didn’t bother to establish if he really is a local producer as claimed,” he charged.
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