Namibian taxpayers could be forced to cough up N$53million more for the upgrading of the Kranzberg to Tsumeb railway line at a time when the government is facing grave financial complications.
This after the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Tender Board awarded the ballast tender for the rehabilitation of the railway line to a company that charged almost N$90 million while the lowest tenderer asked for N$36 million.
The two competing companies for the tender are Eagles Customs Clearance Corporation and D&M Rail.
The tender in question was offered during the reign of former Ministry of Works and Transport Permanent Secretary, Peter Mwatile, who is now in the office of the former President and has left Government stuck between a rock and hard place as they have to execute the upgrade at a rather exorbitant price than expected.
Initially the tender was referred back to the Tender Board for reconsideration by the High Court in March this year resulting in the Board deciding to award to the tender to a company that was charging N$53 million more than the initial company that had tendered lower.
Ironically the Government will be forced to pay N$53 million for transportation of ballast by road by the company they awarded the tender although this flagrantly ignores the tender specifications that the transportation should be done with the railway siding.
Deputy Minister of Works and Transport Sankwasa James Sankwasa, however, could not comment on the issue saying: “As a politician I do not deal with tenders so I would not understand how these issues are handled. They are purely an administrative issue and the Permanent Secretary and the public relations officer are better positioned to comment on that issue.”
This comes hot on the heel of Government calling for severe cuts in unnecessary expenditure in a bid to reign in on unnecessary expenditure and also make sure that state financial resources are only channelled to projects that have an impact on the economy and can also stimulate economic growth.
Information gathered by The Villager also show that the company that was eventually awarded the tender did not offer a convincing justification for the transportation that they charged for at an exorbitant price.
The allocation of the tender has also been muddled by allegations of insider trading and lack of transparency with investigations by The Villager newspaper also showing that the candidate which won the tender also failed to meet the required tender specifications.