The Central Procurement Board says it was in no way involved the process leading up to the procurement of a farm for the military last year.
The commencement of the Public Procurement Act, 2015 which oversees all public procurement activities above a certain threshold was gazetted on 1 March 2017, the same month in which the deal to buy the property was signed off.
Although the defence ministry the contract to buy the farm was signed between the farm owner and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Transport on 15 March 2017, Oropoko Farm was only registered as a government property on 23 October 2017.
“Kindly be informed that the Central Procurement Board(CPB) was not involve or party to the acquisition of the NDF farmland.
You should contact either the NDF or the Minister of Finance for further advice on the matter,” said Central Procurement Board’s Communication Specialist Abigail Kandetu when questioned whether the farm purchase was sanctioned by the board.
Ya Ndakolo explains
President Hage Geingob was initially not informed about the N$45 million farm purchase due to his heavy schedule, Minister of Defence, Penda Ya Ndakolo said on Tuesday.
Speaking in the National Assembly, Ya Ndakolo said President Geingob had indicated earlier that he was not informed about the procurement of farm Oropoko by the ministry for N$45 million.
“His Excellency, the President of Namibia and Commander in Chief of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) was not briefed due to his heavy schedule,” said Ya Ndokolo. Geingob had argued during the opening of Cabinet recently that he did not see the urgency of purchasing a farm while the ministry was sending soldiers on paid leave, due to its inability to feed and house them.
In the midst of this public outcry, Ya Ndakolo broke his silence, justifying the acquisition of the farm saying due process was followed. The Minister however noted that the President had now been properly briefed on the matter. From the onset, the Ministry of Defence did not have sufficient infrastructure to house the new national force as most of the infrastructure was built from prefabricated materials and had dilapidated, he said.
He added that other facilities that belonged to the South African Defence Force and the South West Africa Territorial Force were converted into private properties.
The Ministry of Defence found itself then with a serious need to develop existing infrastructure and to acquire land to build bases and as training areas, he said.
On 06 April 2016, the Ministry received an offer to purchase the farm in question through lawyers Messr Engling, Stritter and Partners, he said.
At the time, the purchase price was N$103 million, upon which the defence ministry informed the works ministry to facilitate in the valuation of the farm at the time.
The valuation was instead conducted by the Ministry of Land Reform, resulting in a figure of N$43.76 million for the farm.
After negotiations with the farm owner, the parties settled that Oropoko Farm would cost N$45 million, N$58 million less than the initial price.
He said the purchase contract was done following all the necessary procedure and that the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Finance all played their part in the purchase.