NAC Suspends Manager Over CCTV Tender

THE Namibia Airports Company (NAC) has suspended its general manager of engineering and operations, Mwangi Wa-Kamau, allegedly for questioning the decision to award Syntex Technologies a CCTV tender, despite the company coming second to Schoemans Technologies.

The company also charged N$15,2 million, which is double the N$7,7 million quoted by Schoemans.

Wa-Kamau was suspended on Wednesday last week, two days before The Namibian broke the story and the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) moved in to investigate the tender.

NAC spokesperson Mia Davids confirmed the suspension, saying Wa-Kamau has been suspended as from 12 March and an investigation into the matter is under way.

On Friday, Wa-Kamau’s lawyers, James Diedericks Attorneys said their client was suspended on full pay after he had refused to sign and implement the tender awarded to Syntex Technologies.

“He feels victimised,” his lawyers said.

Although NAC acting chief executive officer Tamar El Kallawi admitted to The Namibian in an interview at his offices at Sanlam Building on Friday that they gave the tender to Sytenx Technologies because it was tailor-made for the company, he also issued a statement on the same day denying The Namibian story describing it as ‘baseless’.

El Kallawi said Syntex had invited an NAC operations team, which he accompanied, to a presentation held at Eros airport, where Syntex proposed to install an integrated security system that would include a control room, at both Eros and Hosea Kutako airports.

He said Syntex was chosen after NAC verified references of its work carried out in the past, especially the company’s Indigo Vision, which is being used successfully at airports all over the world, including at New Delhi airports.

“They showed us what these integrated security systems could do. The Indigo Vision is also used at New Delhi. The system includes a control room to monitor all the airports. It was very impressive,” said El Kallawi.

He also said they then went ahead to aertise the tender, but it was allegedly clear after Syntex’ presentation that they would be the preferred choice.

“We started the tender process from that presentation. We budgeted for it and ran an aertisement based on this recommendation,” said El Kallawi, denying, however, that they had awarded the tender to Syntex because of family relations.

“It is because they made a good impression with their presentation,” he said.

According to El Kallawi, Wa-Kamau’s suspension was “an internal matter, Deloitte is investigating”.

The investigation comes after an email, which Wa-Kamau sent on 7 February, on behalf of his department requesting for a meeting with human resources and a legal aisor concerning the CCTV tender.

In the email addressed to the tender secretary Gerson Katjangua, which The Namibian has a copy, Wa-Kamau says his staff is “reluctant to handle the project” because:

– they were not consulted throughout the tender process

– they do not have the necessary documentation on the tender including a copy of the appointment letter and

– they are concerned about the procedures followed in the tender process and seek HRLegal Departments aice on this.

In response, Katjangua told Wa-Kamau that the “Syntex Technologies has already been approved for the tender without the requested signatures”.

Although technical evaluation documents show that Schoemans Technologies scored 65 points ahead of Syntex’ 63, El Kallawi told The Namibian that both companies had, in fact, scored equal points and that Katjangua had made a mistake in calculating the points.

Yesterday Katjangua could not admit that he had miscalculated the points, saying it is yet to be established that he miscalculated.

Although El Kallawi said “NAC has proper structures in place and there are clear separation of powers between the board, board sub-committees and management” and denies that the board chairperson, Ndeuhala Katonyala, is a member of the tender board, available documents show that she signed off the tender results together with her deputy Frieda Aluteni, who is also the tender and technical committee deputy chairperson.

All NAC board members – Marthinus Boshoff, Agostinho Victor and Panduleni Shimutwikeni – also signed off the tender results on 28 January this year.

El Kallawi also dismissed the technical committee’s results which the board signed off as correct, saying Syntex and Schoemans had both scored 66.66 points, although the original documents show that Schoemans had 65 Syntex 63 and Business Connexion 60.

To show that there was no miscalculation of points, a footnote attached to the results says: “Although Scheomans Technologies scored the highest points, the Indigo Vision solution offered by Syntex Technologies is the preferred solution”.

The Namibian also understands that two other NAC employees could be suspended any time soon over the CCTV tenders.

Source : The Namibian