Opposition parties call for withdrawal
of tender to supply condoms

Martin Endjala

Opposition parties have come out strongly to condemn the tender awarded by the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) to a company, owned by Shapwa Kanyama, to supply condoms amongst other things.

It is reported that Kanyama’s company got the tender, despite bidding N$ 265.8 million more than the next highest bidder.

The private owned company Amnics Trading, won three lucrative medical supply tenders, which includes the supply of surgical gloves and condoms worth N$650 million.

The said company previously owned by a Taiwanese born South African National and Zimbabwean, now owned by well known Kanyama, will supply surgical gloves for N$400 million, condoms for N$111 million as well as other medical supplies.

The awarding follows the N$2.8 billion allocated to CPBN by government, amidst rising concerns on the staggering cost of condoms, it has sparked anger from the public and politicians.

Popular Democratic Movement President McHenry Venaani said that the tender must be withdrawn and reviewed, saying that it is a clear indication that internal staff benefit and “eat” with those who win tenders.

A local daily reported that Kanyama’s company was to supply 750 000 condoms N$ 111 million, which implies that a condom each costs N$ 148.

“No condom can cost N$ 148 and still be called a condom. I have penned a letter to President Hage Geingob, to revoke and cancel the N$ 650 Million condom and gloves tender with immediate effect. No condom cost N$ 1468 in a nation where 1.2 Million goes with less than a dollar a day. Government must end insider trading and collision tenders,” Venaani stressed.

He also said that he will address the press on Monday, on the health crisis in namibia.

Another Opposition party leader of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) Mike Kavekotora, echoed his dismay.

Kavekotora in an interview with the Windhoek Observer stated that when he learned of the awarded tender by CBPN, school going learners with overcrowded classrooms and flood issues as well as patients reportedly having labour whilst on the floor due to inadequate of rooms and beds, was the first thing that came to his mind.

Meanwhile, CBPN chairperson Amon Ngavetene explained at an urgent press conference today that evaluations are still ongoing and that no tender awarding has been finalised yet.

Ngavetene further explained that the misconception of a packet if condom costing N$148 is wrong, and that they referred to a one unit box of 144 condoms which translate to 69 cents, cheaper than the N$40 per packet of condom in the shops.

Ngavetene said the public must not be alarmed as no awarding of tenders has been finalised yet.

He assured that CBPN continues to be transparent at all times, that no bidder will be awarded without being thoroughly scrutinised.

Meanwhile, Kavekotora added that upon learning of the awarding, he visited a local pharmacy to enquire about how much one packet of 3 condoms cost, and to his surprise, it only cost N$35 as compared to the N$111 million cost for 750 000 condoms translating into N$148 dollars per packet, a figure he described as unacceptable.

He said that this is clear fraudulence, lamenting that it needs to be unbundled to find out who is behind it, viewing it as similar to the Fishrot scandal only that it is using a different scheme.

He added that he tabled a motion in parliament last year for a relevant standing committee to look into tender awarding and investigate, he hopes to hear the outcome this year.

Additionally, the MP is of the opinion that there is one source busy sucking money from government, and this inflating he said should come to an end.

Kavekotora stressed that Namibians have the power to stop corruption, thus urging citizens to stand up for their rights and put an end to this awarding of tenders to companies he alleged are politically connected and to other role players in the industry.

He however, advised President Hage Geingob that if he wants to live a legacy behind and to disassociate himself from corruption this is the time to act and stop this tender as well as the 2024 election candidate Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah if she wants t become the next President of Namibia.

Meanwhile, Independent Patriot for Change (IPC) MP Paulus Mbangu reasoned saying that this is why the health ministry coffers are empty as they continue to squander around big chunks of money into companies who are only after sourcing money at the expense of an already challenged health sector.

Mbangu is also of the opinion that government resources continues to be looted unabatedly, via self-enrichment by individuals.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula reiterated that the ministry does not deal with bidders or tenders, this is the mandate of CBPN as per the public procurement act of 2015.

Shangula added saying that they only provide what the ministry needs and CPBN procures on their behalf.

Moreover, Business Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) spokesperson Ockert Jansen, indicated that their documentation do not reflect the name if Shapwa Kamanya as the owner of Amnic trading company due to their ongoing manual update, which he opines that this could be the reason.

But he however confirmed that ownership of the said company did change.

By Observer