Defence Ministry dragged to court over N$8m sanitisers

Kandjemuni Kamuiiri

Amid swelling allegations by Windhoek Mayor, Job Amupanda, of irregular procurement at Ministry of Defence, it has emerged Phoenix Capital Investment, the company at the centre of the sanitiser supply tender, has dragged the Ministry to court over non-payment for sanitisers delivered more than five months ago.

According to Phoenix Capital Investment Director, William Angula, the company which has enlisted Sisa Namandje as its lawyer, is seeking to recover N$ N$8 311 625 owed for the sanitisers delivered. “We have written them a letter of demand through our lawyer, Sisa Namandje, about two weeks ago, informing them of the fact that we are going to court and it was received about a week ago. The company spent a substantial amount on delivery of the sanitisers and the goods have been with the ministry for five months, yet up to date we have not received any payments for these goods,” Angula told Windhoek Observer.

“We would like the ministry to make the payments because the goods have been accepted and signed off by the ministry, yet no payments have been made or the ministry should come to the table and say ‘we are willing to settle out of court’.”

On the allegations on social media regarding the payment, Angula said, “everything swirling around social media is propaganda and allegation, because we have not received one single dollar from the Ministry of Defence, hence that’s why we went to see our Lawyer, consulted him and he then wrote them a letter of demand.”

On the allegations of double invoicing by the company, Angula said, “based on the dispute of payments between Phoenix Capital Investments CC and the Ministry of Defence, there has never been two invoices issued that have been paid, just one invoice was issued for the total contract value amount, which is N$8.3 million.”

According to Amupanda, on 26 June 2020, the Defence Ministry is alleged to have issued a purchase order of N$ 8.3 million to Phoenix Capital Investment CC without following tender procedures.

“On 7 September 2020, this company provided an invoice of N$ 3 167 100.00 (3 Million) for the sanitisers on purchase order 100003. One 25 L Container was invoiced at N$ 5 000.00. One month later, on 06 October 2020, this company again gave another Invoice, against the same purchase order (numbered 100003) this time increasing the millions to N$ 8 311 625.00 (8 Million). In means the sanitisers tender, although only at 8 Million on the official purchase order, it ended up at 11 Million. No one can explain how this happened,” Amupanda alleged.

The Ministry of Defence in a statement issued on Wednesday, declined to shed light on the alleged shady deal regarding the procurement of sanitisers stating that the matter was now before courts.

“With regard to the issuance of a tender to Phoenix Capital Investment CC, it is true that, with the escalation of COVID-19 infections in Namibia, the said company was awarded a tender, in terms of Article 27 of the Public Procurement Act, to supply sanitisers to the ministry. This issue is now subjudice since the company has resorted to seeking legal recourse,” said Defence Ministry Executive Director, Trephine Kamati.

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