N$9.9m tender cancelled due to poor workmanship
The Tender Board cancelled the N$9.9 million tender awarded to a contractor to construct a health centre at the sleepy settlement of Okondjatu in Otjozondjupa Region, due to sloppy work.
The contractor did substandard work before he allegedly vanished into thin air after he reportedly received millions to do the job.
The Tender Board’s decision to cancel the tender follows investigations by the Ministry of Health and Social Services into the poor workmanship by the contractor, Koos Mazenge, who was to construct a health centre under the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (Tipeeg).
Speaking to New Era in an interview on the way forward regarding the deserted clinic, Tender Board spokesperson Leonie du Toit confirmed the cancellation of the tender after a request was made by the health ministry.
“The request to cancel the tender was approved by the Tender Board on 6 November 2014,” she said.
When asked what would happen to the contractor who earlier said he was willing to complete the long-dragging project, Thomas Mbeeli, the Deputy Director for Policy Planning in the Ministry of Health and Social Services said once the tender has been cancelled, the contractor cannot be re-called unless the Tender Board decides otherwise.
He also said the tender will then have to be re-advertised through an open bidding process.
New Era was reliably informed that the health ministry felt there was a need to construct a new health centre to replace the current small clinic to accommodate people in Okandjatu, a settlement surrounded by 50 villages and more than 100 kilometres from Okakarara.
The cancelled tender was advertised and awarded in 2012.
It is alleged that after winning the N$9.9 million tender the contractor reportedly started splurging the money on flashy cars and abandoned the health centre without completing the work.
Mazenge however denied buying flashy cars after winning the tender, saying: “I got one million since I started the project until the work was stopped. I bought my car but I bought it with money from other contracts not this one.”
The current clinic has no consulting rooms and lacks a pharmacy.
Worst of all is that the single doctor assigned to the clinic only attends to patients once a month, compelling state patients to travel to faraway Okakarara.
The clinic also does not have benches and a shade for patients awaiting treatment.
According to the initial plan, the health centre which was to have its own pharmacy and consulting rooms, among other facilities, was due for completion in February this year.
Albertina Nakale New Era