MCA Cancels N$6 Million Book Tender

THE Millennium Challenge Account-Namibia was forced to cancel a tender worth N$6 million for library books at the last minute due to late delivery by a contractor from Botswana.

The books were supposed to be delivered on 16 September 2014 to a library at the coast but did not arrive on time for the compact programme’s cut off date of 16 September this year, forcing the American development organisation to cancel the tender at the last minute.

MCA CEO Penny Akwenye, who declined to reveal the company awarded the contract, told The Namibian that the books were part of the organisation’s last batch of books to be delivered to State libraries.

The books were meant for the Swakopmund library before the organisation’s closure in September.

“We built three regional study centres at Helao Nafidi, Oshana and Oshakati and Gobabis. We were supposed to equip these libraries with enough books and leave them functional,” she said.

However, due to the delay in the supply of the books by the contractor, Akwenye said only a handful of books were distributed while those that arrived after the cut off date were rejected.

“The contractor did not understand our policy and functions and she did not take our deadline seriously,” said Akwenye.

Akwenye said the contractor struggled to procure all the books in questions from different sources internationally.

“We aised the contractor where to find the books but she failed to deliver most of them and only managed to find a few,” she said.

Akwenye said the company had paid for the books that arrived on 16 September but had refused to accept or pay for the rest that arrived later. She could also not reveal the total number of the books but said the contract was worth N$6 million.

MCA education director Tulimevava Nghiyoonanye said that MCA’s compact programme that was passed in parliament in 2008 only makes provision for deliveries between September 2008 and 16 September 2014.

“Anything we do within that period must have been done before 16 September 2014. If items ordered before this date were not delivered, then I don’t even want to discuss it,” she said, referring The Namibian to MCA’s procurement director Johann Botha.

Botha declined to comment, saying that procurements made under the MCA contract were confidential. “I’m not obligated to comment on this matter. All I can say is that the contractor is from Botswana and the tender for the books was cancelled due to late delivery. Its water under the bridge” he said, refusing to reveal the value of the tender.

During its five year operation in the country, MCA has been a solid government partner in assisting with the upgrading and renovation of schools, as well as supplying of study materials and library establishments valued at N$167 million in total.

Akwenye said MCA managed to purchase more than 1,7 million Life Science, English and Physical Science textbooks for schools around the country over the five-year period through its education project.

The organisation has been the saving grace for the Ministry of Education when it failed to procure textbooks for several schools early this year by supplying the Life Science, English and Physical Science books to schools.

Source : The Namibian