Namibians didn’t bid for N.dollars 730 million Swapo HQ tender: Schlettwein

24 May 2019 12:20pm
WINDHOEK, 24 MAY (NAMPA) – No Namibian companies bid for the construction of the new N.dollars 730 million Swapo Party headquarters, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein has confirmed.
The minister was responding to questions at a media conference on Thursday, where journalists wanted to know why the ruling party is hiring a Chinese firm to upgrade its new headquarters instead of local companies.
This was after an article published in a local daily on Thursday revealed that the ruling party awarded the N.dollars 730 million to a Chinese company.
The awarding of the tender follows a directive from the government to public entities to source specific goods, services and works locally, before procuring the same beyond Namibian borders.
It was therefore ironic that Swapo, which de facto runs the government, would procure 100 per cent services for its new building from a Chinese entity, the journalists submitted during the engagement with Schlettwein.
“Swapo has given a tender to a Chinese company to build its headquarters but yet you say we must procure locally. What does that say about [your priorities]?” a journalist asked.
The party’s priorities were further questioned, with suggestions that it could have or can redirect the N.dollars 730 million to other pressing national needs as opposed to the construction of a building.
To this, the minister replied: “I think it is a little bit presumptuous to dictate to any party, whether it’s a (political) party or a business, to say why don’t you use your money to build your head office for other purposes. You don’t know what the balance sheet of Swapo Party is. You don’t know what efforts the party is engaged in in assisting poor people and assisting drought victims.”
He continued: “Your question forgets the fact that, that project was published (advertised). It was an open bidding process. And unfortunately, no Namibian company put in a bid.”
The finance minister went on to say he is disturbed by the fact that no local companies submitted bids.