Andrew Kathindi & Kelvin Chiringa
Higher Education, Technology and Innovation minister, Itah Kandjii-Murangi has confirmed that she has penned a letter to finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi motivating for the construction of a “Students’ Village”.
In the letter dated 8 September 2021, Murangi sought from Shiimi permission for the higher education ministry to make use of one of the state-owned enterprises under the finance ministry’s management to handle the procurement for the bidding process regarding the building of the new student village.
However, Windhoek Mayor Job Amupanda accused Murangi of using this process to benefit her ‘cronies’.
Quizzed on whether she did indeed wrote a letter to the finance minister motivating for a student village, Murangi said, “I can’t remember when I wrote that letter to the minister of finance. It’s in order, as far as I’m concerned for me to seek guidance from the minister of finance.
“As far as me having a business, I don’t have any business that will be participating or I was anticipating will be involved in this. It’s the imagination of whoever made the allegations and so on.”
Murangi referred The Villager to comments she made in a newspaper this week when asked about her thoughts on the accusations of corruption by the mayor.
In her letter to Shiimi, Murangi states, “MHETI is exploring a PPP procurement solution to build a new modern ‘students’ village’ accommodation facility. There is a very high demand for students accommodation in Windhoek”.
Murangi argues that 38,202 students are at Unam and Nust across the country.
The site for the envisaged development is, according to Murangi, already secured from the City of Windhoek.
It measures some 15 hectares, consisting of erven 6508 and 6509 on the junction of the Kranswael Street and Woodpecker Street in Khomasdal, Extension 16.
The students’ village is projected to accommodate about 3 000 students.
Amupanda accused the higher education minister of planning a “corrupt process, outside the procurement law”.
“To protect her interest and getting her deal through, she is now preparing to take this tender outside the ministry for this tender to be prepared, administered and adjudicated by her corrupt stooges primarily at Nust or alternatively her Corrupt Stooges at National Council of Higher Education.”
In the meantime, Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary for education Hofni Ipinge has confirmed that the finance ministry was yet to respond to the letter from Murangi.
Ipinge has been on record challenging Murangi to break the silence and respond to the corruption allegations from Amupanda.
She has since stated that there is nothing corrupt about the process.
“I also just saw the letter. How it has been leaked from the department or from the ministry I don’t know. We just also saw it circulating on social media through Job Amupanda.
“We were never given such information. I was to scrutinise it very well and come with a position. But I see this was up to the finance minister to approve or disapprove it. I don’t really see the problem with that letter much. It was a request to the minister of finance. It is not something that has been acted upon.
“I took it up with the minister of finance. He is in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly. He says he has seen it but is yet to answer it,” he said.