THE High Court this morning annulled a tender contract, awarded by the previous Namibia Airports Company board to a Chinese company that was supposed to construct Phase 2 of the Ondangwa Airport Rehabilitation.
Recently appointed board, Chaired by Rodgers Kauta, was unhappy with the decisions made by certain members of the previous board.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation was awarded the N$ 200 million tender under the administration of then NAC CEO Tamar El-Kallawi and the head of Engineering, Courage Silombela, who the new board say acted dubiously, when they awarded the tender. They have since been suspended.
Advocate Rafik Bhana, who represents the NAC, argued that Silombela made misrepresentations to the board by manipulating the figures. According to him, the board at the time did not comply with the Procurement Act.
The contract is in contravention of the procurement policies and at a price that is not based on any market-related price. If the court does not grant a remedy in this case, it will allow China State to benefit financially from an unlawful contract, the board feared.
Judge Tomas Masuku has since ordered that the resolutions taken by the previous board to award the tender is reviewed and set aside.
“Any contract between the two parties as a result of the said award is void and set aside. China State Construction Engineering Corporation is ordered to pay the legal cost,” Judge Msuku stated in his judgement.
An initial N$168 million was estimated for the entire construction process, but China State changed its original quote due to alleged incomplete quotations from subcontractors and suppliers. The money was then increased to N$211 million, which was allegedly done with no proper explanation.