Namcor managing director Immanuel Mulunga proposed the name of the Malaysian company, Hyrax Oil, that won the N$2,2 million tender to supply lubricants to Namcor.
The tender is at the centre of a dispute between the board and the Namcor managing director Immanuel Mulunga, who is accused of tampering with the process.
Namcor board chairperson Patrick Kauta has asked for permission from the public enterprise's minister Leone Jooste to suspend Mulunga pending an investigation into how the tender was given.
Initially, eight companies were invited to replace Sasol Petroleum that has been Namcor, long-term supplier of lubricants products.
Sasol's agreement with Namcor expired in June 2017 and was extended for six months pending the bidding process to look for a new supplier.
Namcor is rolling out its retail campaign, and the tender was meant to re-evaluate the lubricants product offerings regarding pricing and product type.
Emails leaked to The Villager show that Mulunga proposed three companies - Hyrax Oil, Oilflow and New Vision Lubricants Industry.
Thirteen other companies - Sasol Oil, Fuch Oil, Valvoline, Castrol, Afrilube, Eni Lubricants, Exxon/ Mobil, Belray, Petronas Lubricants, Gazprom Neft Lubricants, KZN lubricants, Shell and Centlube - were proposed by the Namcor Commercial Business Unit (CBU).
Namcor invited eight companies - Hyrax Oil, Oilflow, New Vision Lubricants Industry, Sasol, Fuch Oil, BP, Afrilube and ENI Lubricants - to submit bids.
The tender document seen by The Villager states that before the tender process was started, Namcor carried out a market survey by visiting potential suppliers.
Eight companies were identified from a list of supplies submitted by Namcor managing director Immanuel Mulunga and the commercial business unit.
Three companies - JC Wholesalers CC, Namibia Lubricants and Hyrax Oil - submitted bids.
"The three bids were screened by the Procurement Management Unit for compliance in respect of documents. The bids from JC Wholesalers and Namibia Lubricants were judged to be in non-compliance and excluded from the evaluation process, while that of Hyrax Oil was judged to be compliant," the documents say.
Hyrax Oil's bid was then submitted to the Bid Evaluation Committee for consideration on 31 October 2017.
The Bid Evaluation Committee made some observations among them to find out whether Hyrax Oil was registered in Namibia since it is a Malaysian company and that the committee should do a qualitative evaluation.
The committee also raised concern with the fact that Hyrax Oil had nominated Butterfly as the local representative and wanted clarity as to who exactly was Namcor contracting.
The six-member Bid Evaluation Committee said it had failed to decide on the bid and then resolved to refer it to the Procurement Committee.
The members are Manfriedt Muundjua (chairperson), Gustav Mumbala, Kosmos Damaseb, Leorine Waggie, Martin Negonga and Sem Hasheela.
Mulunga has suspended Damaseb over allegations that he failed to execute the Tsandi Service Station project in which Namcor has interests.
Despite the Bid Evaluation's reservations over the Hyrax Oil bid, Muundja wrote to the team calling for the finalisation of the process.
Muundja said since the Hyrax Oil bid was the only compliant one, there was no need to "conduct the usual scoring exercise and hence the norm to make a referral to the Procurement Committee".
"We only had these questions to ensure that the Procurement Committee was informed," he wrote.
On 8 November, Mulunga wrote to Muundja saying that he did not believe that his directive for the bid to be finalised "puts the credibility of the process into question".
"I have not interfered in the process, I have only urged completion of the exercise," Mulunga said.
Mulunga also said he believed that all the concerns had been attended to except one.
He said the Commercial Business Unit's will could not come before his as the managing director.
"The necessity to procure lubricants to be ready for our first service station, which was to be Tsandi and the list of fast-moving lubes did not come from the Commercial Business Unit but me," Mulunga explained.
Muundja responded to Mulunga on the same day saying that the bid can be taken to the Procurement Committee and that he had hoped that for the integrity of the bid process, they needed to undertake a functional differentiation.
"We believe the MD's time is better served at the end of the process, not during the process," Muundja said.
"If the Procurement Committee is happy to progress and award, then they should, but we find it a challenge to recommend while some issues remain outstanding.
"We were informed by the Commercial Business Unit that the product list and specifications do not appear to be complete and thus we are not in the position to determine if what Hyrax is offering is comparable to the products they intend to replace," Muundja further said.
Jooste confirmed to The Villager last week that he had received Kauta’s letter and was looking into it.