Eveline de Klerk
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is investigating the Usakos town council for alleged tender fraud.
The investigation centres around the tender for the new council building currently under construction at the Hakhaseb suburb, after tender irregularities related to the project came to light.
During a media briefing last week the chief investigating officer of the ACC, Walter Kurz, said that the council was under investigation for the manner in which it allocated the tender for the new council offices.
Kurz further disclosed that paperwork such as minutes taken at a council meeting dealing with the tender process had disappeared as well as other documents related to the tender proceedings.
“We have now requested the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to assist us with copies of the paperwork and documents to get the case off the ground.
“It is just the paperwork that hampers our investigation, but we are positive that we will make an arrest once the papers are made available to us,” he said.
Meanwhile, work at the construction site is currently at a standstill because the Usakos town council owes at least six contractors close to N$4 million.
The contractors allegedly last received payment six months ago.
Usakos town council last week also instructed its Chief Executive Officer Gruzi Goseb to request a meeting with Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa to try and source at least N$4 million to complete the building.
Initially the council estimated the cost of the building at around N$12 million, but council awarded the tender to the company that submitted the highest bid rather than the one initially chosen. The total cost of the building now stands at N$17 million.
Goseb on Friday confirmed the financial dillema council faced, and told New Era that it was not in a position to pay the contractors due to a lack of funds.