By: Pricilla Mukokobi
Construction companies in the Zambezi region have accused the Zambezi regional council of being biased in awarding construction tenders.
The contractors further complained about purchasing application forms for N$ 500.
A source who chose not to be named told the Villager that in 2020 about 100 people applied for the annual tenders, yet none was called for evaluation.
The source added that he discovered unknown criteria that he labelled as “criteria for corruption practices” that the Zambezi regional council had used to award tenders.
“Zambezi regional council is fundraising on us constructors. We are buying application forms, and they are busy chopping our money while they are not awarding us tenders,” he said.
He further made allegations that those in the Zambezi regional council offices only give the tenders to their families and friends. They said since 2020, they have been buying application forms, but they see people who didn’t apply or buy applications getting the tenders.
“The procurement Act states that it takes a week after the closing date to open the documents sent them for evaluation, then the other week they appoint constructors. If they are late, then it takes a month. After a month, no one got feedback.
“Among the companies I know, one was appointed, and no one knew what happened. Everyone went mute even the Zambezi regional council did not inform us why we were not chosen and even to announce new constructors,” he said.
The source said that giving tenders to families and friends should come to an end and that transparency is very important as it is essential to measure the contractor’s capabilities rather than awarding families and friends.
According to the source, the Zambezi region is not developing because corruption and nepotism are too rife.
“About 19 vacancies came out to renovate schools, yet the director of education wants to give the Chinese a tender who did not apply for the tender. He did not even buy the application forms, which is corruption, honestly. They are leaving us Namibians without jobs, but there are giving Chinese tenders,” he said.
Another contractor, Rodney Wamukulo, said he researched how much money Zambezi regional council is making on top of constructors.
“Zambezi regional council is making N$ 400 000 every year. These people are making a business on top of us. This business should come to an end because we are tired. If they want to award tenders to their families and friends, they should stop releasing vacancies. Some of us have families to feed in that N$ 500 we buy maize meal and eat with my family instead of donating money to people who get a monthly salary,” he said.
Wamukulo added that even the roads are not in good shape because of giving people who are not qualified jobs.
Approached for comment, education and arts minister Anna Nghipondoka stated, “the director of education must know more about this issue. Just keep on calling. He might eventually pick up,” she said.
The Villager tried to contact Zambezi region education director Josty Kawana multiple times; however, his phone went unanswered.
According to the Zambezi regional council spokesperson, Damien Siambango said he could not give more information on this, but application forms are bought for N$ 100, not N$ 500.