Corruption allegations plague lucrative TIPEEG tender
A major favouritism scandal is rocking a TIPEEG tender project to de-bush at least 10 State farms throughout the country. Disgruntled and exploited individual employees of dubious ad hoc companies set up to carry out the de-bushing of State farms are accusing the owners of the said companies of exploiting them for personal gains at State expense.
The companies, all of which are owned by ruling SWAPO Party activists, regional councillors and high-raking Government of Namibia (GoN) officials, have been awarded a N$14 million TIPEEG contract to de-bush the State farms (such as John Pandeni, some 20 kilometers southwest of Grootfontein; Omatjene, near Otjiwarongo; Sachinga in the Caprivi Region; and at least seven others throughout the country).
Several company owners, who are apparently jealous of each other, have also approached NamRights with complaints of widespread irregularities within the tender awarding process.
Companies and individuals are being paid in accordance with a 3-Rates system: Rate 1 is paid N$1 200 per hectare; Rate 2 is paid N$2000 per hectare while Rate 3 is N$3000 per hectare. The National Youth Service is getting N$300 commission for each hectare cleared, NamRights had established.
NamRights knows the full identities of most of the successful tenderers (both companies and individuals).
Generally, they came from within the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, from Oshikoto Regional Council, former and current members of Tsumeb Town Council and SWAPO Party Oshikoto Regional Coordination as well as several owners of transport companies in the former Ovamboland who are politically linked to the ruling SWAPO Party.
It is not immediately clear whether all the contracts were granted under the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement (MLR), the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) or the Ministry of Youth National Service, Sports and Culture (MYNSSC).
Contacted for comment, MLR State Secretary, Lidwina Shapwa, this morning confirmed that her Ministry has given out a tender to de-bush only State farms in the Kavango Region. Shapwa pointed out, however, that herself and or her Ministry has no control whatsoever over the tender awarding process, which resorts under the Ministry of Finance. She referred NamRights’ investigators to Ericah Shafudah, State Secretary for the Ministry of Finance, who is said to be the chairperson of the Tender Board and who could not be reached for comment.