Katima accused of dubious tender awards

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Aron Mushaukwa

Katima Mulilo-Omatando Construction Company, owned by Kornelius Mbangula and Linken Chibozu, has accused the Katima Mulilo Town Council (KMTC) of dubiously awarding tenders in the town. This emerged after the company lost a bid to construct sewers at Choto in a deal worth about N$3 million.

Manager of Omatando at Katima Mulilo, Linken Chibozu, argues that his company deserved to be awarded the tender as, among others, they only quoted N$3.2 million. However, the town council resolved to award the tender to a Chinese-owned company, ABC Investment, that quoted N$3.4 million.

“They told us that we lost the tender because we are not a local company. Yet they awarded the tender to a Chinese company. What is local a Namibian or a Chinese company?” he asked.

Chibozu added that despite the company being registered in Oshakati they have a branch in Katima Mulilo, and he is of the opinion that this qualifies his company to be regarded as local.

“ABC is also registered in Windhoek, but they have a branch here; we also have a branch here. So, it doesn’t make sense when they say they did not award us the tender because we are not a local company,” he said.

Due to this discontent, Omatando Construction Company decided to appeal the awarding of the tender to the Public Procurement Committee. In the Public Procurement Review dated February 21, 2018, (seen by New Era) “the Review Panel established that the respondent [KMTC] substantially amended bid conditions when they replaced the bid security condition with a letter of intent.

“This is a contravention to the Public Procurement Regulation 33 and 37… which states that a bid security in the form of a bank guarantee must be issued by a commercial bank in order to be accepted by a public entity,” reads the document.

It is further stated that “both the awarded bidder – ABC Investment, the applicant Omatando Construction Company, and the rest of the bidders were not substantially responsive, having not submitted the prerequisite bid security.”
The Review Panel also stressed that in the “Bid Evaluation Committee meeting minutes, bidders were rated from poor, fair and good without evidence to back up the ratings in line with the evaluation criteria as provided for in the bidding document”.

It is also revealed in the document that the town council was not able to provide evaluation evidence considered when they awarded the tender and, as a result, the council was ordered to re-advertise the tender.

“Having considered all factual records developed and submitted by respondent and aggrieved bidder, the review panel, in accordance with the powers vested in it in terms of Section 60 (f) of the Public Procurement Act 15 of 2015, resolved to order that the procurement proceedings be terminated and start afresh.”
Chibozu, however, argues that KMTC has refused to comply with the order from the review panel. He is accusing KMTC CEO Raphael Liswaniso of being “not a man of his word”.

“He says only local companies should be awarded tenders. But he awarded a tender of bins supply to a company owned by his brother, and whose business address is in Walvis Bay,” he said.

This was in reference to a tender to supply wheelie bins worth about N$380,000, which the town council awarded to KDG Investment that is owned by Gadaffi Liswaniso, in last December. Sources allege that KDG is yet to supply the wheelie bins to the council since it won the tender due to financial constraints. New Era, however, could not confirm the relationship between Gadaffi Liswaniso and the Katima Mulilo CEO.
Efforts to get a comment from Katima CEO Liswaniso proved futile, as his mobile phone went unanswered and he did not respond to several questions sent to his mobile phone.

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