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The Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) has refuted allegations that it corruptly awarded an unadvertised multimillion-dollar tender to a local pharmaceutical company, Fabupharm.

Activist Michael Amushelelo alleged on social media that the N$451 million tender was corruptly awarded and was facilitated by Finance and Public Enterprises Minister Iipumbu Shiimi. 

In a statement, the CPBN has described Amushelelo's allegations as baseless and aimed at tarnishing the board's reputation and credibility, adding that allegations by Amushelelo that Minister Shiimi influenced the awarding of the tender are devoid of any truth.

In a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, Finance Minister Shiimi said Amushelelo should not look for political relevance by tarnishing his name with tenders, saying, "I have always maintained the highest standards of integrity and will continue to do so." 

CPBN spokesperson, Johanna Kambala, says the procurement board received a procurement request from the Ministry of Health for the supply and delivery of pharmaceutical products, with the ministry recommending "open international bidding" as the preferred method of procurement.

Kambala explains that such a method of procurement is in accordance with the Public Procurement Act.

Following this, the procurement board held a meeting in March where it inquired if there were any Namibian manufacturers of pharmaceutical products as required by the tender. 

The Board received a response from the Medicines Regulatory Council indicating that Fabupharm is the only Namibian manufacturer. The CPBN then resolved to award the tender to Fabupharm for the supply of 41 items only.

In a case of direct procurement, the Public Procurement Act allows the Board to procure goods or services from a single source without competition. 

A final report dated July 9, 2023, was submitted by the board's tender evaluation committee, recommending that the bid be awarded to Fabupharm for 27 pharmaceutical items valued at about N$184 million for a period of two years. 

This recommendation was approved in August last year, and the tender was awarded on March 28 this year.

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Photo Credits
Central Procurement Board of Namibia

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Author
July Nafuka