Businessman questions validity of grocery tender

Martin Endjala

The Ohangwena Regional Council has put out a notice requesting quotations for the supply of grocery items such as tomato sauce, rice, onions, cooking oil, salt, macaroni and potatoes amongst other types of consumer items.

The groceries are to be delivered at Omutwewomuhnu village in Oshikunde constituency.

Businessman Robie Amadhila questioned why the regional council staff could not go to any of the shops at Eenhana or Okongo to procure the items.

“It will cost a lot just to manage the tender process. You are going to call for a tender and set up a committee to go through the twenty quotations. Now you are taking those committee members away from their office duties that are more productive to go make a decision over a N$2000 spending,” he said.

Amadhila is of the opinion that tenders in the threshold of less than N$50,000 should be the ones to be out to the public.

The regional council spokesperson, Silas Nepembe, on Saturday, confirmed that the tender is in line with the Public Procurement Policy Act.

“What do we do when we are buying things for the government? We don’t just go get money and go buy. We have to go through the procurement process as per the Procurement Act of 2016. Even if there is a need for items like tomatoes, potatoes and so forth. We still need to go through the procurement process,” he said.

Nepembe clarified that grocery tenders are normally for events such as the belated 34th Independence celebration at the Omutwewomuhunu village.

He was not sure if the groceries were for the event and said he would have to confirm with the council’s procurement unit by Monday.

The Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN), spokesperson, Johanna Kambala, explained that the board only facilitates procurement projects submitted to the board for adjudication.

“Please note that CPBN only facilitates procurement projects that have been submitted to the Board for adjudication. The right institution to answer your question will be the Procurement Policy Unit under the Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprise. They are the ones responsible for making sure that public entities comply with the Public Procurement Act and implement the act accordingly,” she said.

When asked about the matter, the finance ministry’s spokesperson, Wilson Shikoto, referred the questions to the Ohangwena Regional Council, saying “This is a simple matter which only they can answer.”

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