Kawana explains allocation of tender to Pohamba’s daughter

WINDHOEK: The Office of the President says members of the media should not resort to sensational reporting as it could disturb the peace and stability in Namibia.

The Minister of Presidential Affairs and Attorney General (AG) Albert Kawana said this in Parliament on Monday in response to a newspaper article regarding the allocation of a tender by the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) to President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s daughter, Kaupumhote Pohamba.

“The Office of the President has learned with shock and dismay of an article which appeared in the Confidente Newspaper alleging that Pohamba as the patron of the Mass Housing Project allowed his daughter to get a housing construction tender,” Kawana said.

Confidente reported that Kaupumhote Pohamba and Old Mutual Africa business managing director Johannes !Gawaxab’s Taschiona were awarded the N.dollars 16,4 million tender to build houses in Otjiwarongo.

According to the minister, the article did not come as a surprise.

“The Confidente Newspaper is well-known for its hostility and indeed naked bias against Pohamba,” he said.

Kawana explained that NHE bought 71 plots from the Otjiwarongo Municipality in 2010 as per a deed of sale signed on 17 February 2010.

The amount NHE paid for the land was N.dollars 1 915 852.

The minister then further explained that on 06 March 2013, Kata Investment, of which Kaupumhote Pohamba is a shareholder, submitted a development proposal to NHE.

“Their proposal was a type of a turnkey project whereby they would provide funding through sourcing funds from private financial institutions,” he stressed.

Kawana said the idea was to build houses using these funds until the houses are completed. He said Kata Investment’s idea was to use women only during construction as part of their empowerment programme for women.

The presidential affairs minister also pointed out that Kata has a partnership with Tulipamwe Building Contractors CC, which has a lot of experience in construction thus in time, Kata would develop its own internal capacity.

“However, in March 2013, NHE went out on tender for the construction of houses on the 71 plots in Otjiwarongo instead of using the turnkey project as proposed by Kata Investments,” Kawana informed Parliament.

The tender closed on 03 April 2013, and 35 companies including Kata submitted their bids.

According to the minister, there were delays in allocating the tender, mostly because the NHE financial year starts in July every year, thus the tender was only awarded in September 2013.

“Kata was adjudicated to be the successful tenderer, and they received the letter of award on 27 September 2013 before the launch of the Mass Housing Project in November 2013,” he noted.

Kawana indicated that construction of the 71 houses was supposed to commence on 08 October 2013, but because surety and working capital approval from the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) was only received in December 2013, construction only commenced in December.

About 30 women are employed on the project.

“In addition, the daughter or son of the President, minister, deputy minister, permanent secretary or any other public official, just like any Namibian citizen, is not prohibited by the Namibian Constitution or any other law to take part in lawful business activities,” he said.

SOURCE: NAMPA