Special favours for Kamwi’s son

29 August 2014

A COMPANY owned by Simasiku Kamwi, the son of the Minister of Health and Social Services Richard Kamwi, has struggled to complete its portion of the work for the construction of a rural water pipeline line between Katima Mulilo and Ngoma in the Zambezi Region.

Kamwi owns the construction company Likoze Investments cc.

Sources close to the project allege that apart from delaying a crucial rural water development project, the minister’s son has allegedly received preferential treatment from Government

Government awarded Kamwi’s company the tender for the second phase of the rural water supply project on 24 May 2013.

Likoze Investments won the tender as part of a joint venture with 2M Civil Contractors and it has the responsibility of digging trenches and excavations whilst their partners handle the more technical aspects of the job.

The project with a value of N$35 million falls under the division of Rural Water Supply and Development of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.

The project has reached its second phase, but it allegedly faces serious delay, as was the case with the first phase.

The first phase of the construction of the rural water pipeline, which the contractors were supposed to have completed back in 2012, still has work outstanding and for this reason, Likoze has not received full payment.

However, instead of instructing Likoze Investments to pay about N$400 000.00 as a penalty fee for late completion, the ministry decided to waive the penalty.

Approached for comment on Thursday the Deputy Director for Rural Water Supply and Development Victor Slinger confirmed that the ministry had decided to waive the penalty fee.

He explained that the company had written to the ministry and given detailed reasons for the delay, and the ministry deemed the explanations acceptable.

“We studied the explanation and reasons given for the delay of the first phase, and after we found that the reasons were valid,” he said.

Sources within the ministry revealed that although senior officials were aware that Likoze has allegedly not performed up to standard, no one is prepared to do anything about it while members of community in the area continue to suffer.

”These are straight forward projects that the ministry should treat as a matter of urgency because we are still trying to provide basic services to our people in the rural areas, but we allow some people to get away with anything,” the source said.

The consulting engineering firm responsible for design and oversight of the project, Element Consulting Engineers, have worked closely with Likoze, but the company declined to make any official comment.

In a brief interview on Thursday, the Managing Director of Element Ethan Loftie said he could not confirm the delays or challenges experienced on the site without the consent of his client.

Knowledgeable sources in the region said Likoze Investments failed to give proper training to community members that it recruited.

Because of this, the company had to stop work and redo it, which caused further delays.

The community members are also said to be no longer interested in working for Likoze Investments following complaints of non-payment.

Contacted for comment, an unidentified person answered Kamwi’s phone and said he was not available.
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