Thursday 17 June 2021
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Namcor’s tender wars

…Mulunga slapped with fraud and dishonesty charges


The four Namcor officials, including company MD Imms Mulunga, who are currently facing disciplinary action after being involved in alleged questionable procurement deals want to know how the company’s board procured the services of auditing firm Deloitte and Touche to conduct a forensic probe.
The quartet claim the N$4.4 million payment for professional services rendered by Deloitte contravenes the country’s Procurement Act.
The four are Mulunga, Bonifatius Konjore, Maryke Krohne and Nestor Sheefeni.
Contrastingly, the Board accused Mulunga of failing to act in the public interest and in accordance with the Public Procurement Act.
In a letter written by their lawyer Sisa Namandje earlier this week, the four asked the initiator of the disciplinary process-ENS Africa’s Ruben Philander- to provide details on the procurement decisions and the process that led to the appointment of the initiator as well as a board resolution that mandates the board chairman Patrick Kauta to charge them.
Namandje also requested for proof that a Cabinet decision exists which endorsed the appointment of Kauta as the chairperson of Namcor.
They further questioned: “When did the initiator inform the HR manager of the decision to proceed with the disciplinary enquiry? Details as to when the charge sheets were submitted to the legal department for scrutiny and approval by the legal department as required?”
Namandje also requested Philander to provide the relevant information relating the allegations made against the clients as well as the forensic audit reports.
The board feels Mulunga’s handling of company affairs and operations are allegedly exposing Namcor to questionable dealings which he[Mulunga] orchestrates with his cronies.
Mulunga has maintained his innocence and subsequently made pronouncements that he was being victimised by board.
Mulunga has specifically been linked to a Malaysian-based oil giant, Hyrax Oil, which is said to be treated with special gloves when it comes to awarding tenders.
In the 38-page charge sheet comprising 9 main charges, which The Patriot has seen, the underfire MD is accused of failing to perform his duties when he accepted an invitation of an overseas trip from a potential supplier at the expense of the supplier in August 2017, amongst others.
Mulunga’s charge sheet includes 9 main charges and at least 22 alternative charges. All charges are largely related to dubious procurement practices with significant meddling and overeaching highlighted.
The Board on several occassions mention that the floundering of the Procurement Act exposed the company to losses that could have been avoided.
Later in the year, Namcor issued a restricted invitation for bids for the supply of lubricants to Namcor Petroleum Trading and Distribution to eight potential suppliers, including Hyrax.
The Patriot understands that only three of the invited suppliers submitted their bids, of which Hyrax was one.
On 24 October 2017, Hyrax won the bid after its two competitors were disqualified for allegedly failing to comply with the mandatory eligibility requirements.
Hyrax, according to the charge sheet, got the tender even after it submitted its mandatory bid security after the submission deadline.
The charge sheet also accused Mulunga of failing to disclose his interests or withdrawing from the procurement process.
“As a staff member of a public entity involved in conducting procurement processes as a member of Namcor’s Procurement Committee, you failed to disclose the following interest in a bidding entity, namely Hyrax.
You travelled to Malaysia in August 2017 for a week to visit Hyrax’s facilities at the expense of Hyrax and failed to withdraw from the procurement process which resulted in Hyrax Oil being awarded the contract to supply lubricants to Namcor Trading and Distribution for a total amount of N$2.2 million VAT inclusive,” reads the charge sheet.
Mulunga is also accused of writing to a Bank Windhoek on 13 December 2017 requesting the bank to give “Sam Hasheela the necessary assistance to enable him(Hasheela) to purchase a vehicle”.
Hasheela was no longer an employee of Namcor at the time.
“Mr. Hasheela was one of the fixed term employees whose services had been terminated effective 1 December 2017 because of a board resolution taken on 27 November 2017. As at 13 December 2017, Mr. Sam Hasheela was no longer an employee of Namcor,” the charge sheet further reads.
It also reads: “You committed fraud in that you unlawfully and intentionally misrepresented to Bank Windhoek that Mr. Sam Hasheela was at the time in the employ of Namcor in order to assist Mr. Sam Hasheela to obtain vehicle finance from Bank Windhoek, and which misrepresentation moved Bank Windhoek to finance the purchase by Mr Sam Hasheela of a motor vehicle to the actual or potential prejudice of Bank Windhoek.”
Mulunga and the board have been on a collision course from the day the board was appointed.
The Board has appointed Advocate Andrew Corbett to chair the disciplinery inquiry which will afford Mulunga an opportunity to challenge any evidence presented on behalf of the company and to state his case.
Mulunga did not meet the mandate deadline set by which he was supposed to contact the initiator to arrange a hearing date with the chairperson.
His lawyer instead authored a letter requesting information relating to the allegations as well as all forensic investigation reports to be provided by the 13th of August.
Namandje also warned that an urgent application in the High Court  may be sought for “appropriate” relief .

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