4 October 2017

Namibia: Building of Lands Offices Halted in Pay Dispute

CONSTRUCTION at the land reform ministry's Rundu offices has been halted for six months because a security company locked the gates to the site over unpaid invoices.

The construction contract was awarded to a company called Omusati Construction in 2013. Omusati Construction is owned by a deputy director in the urban and rural development ministry, Olavi Iita.

However, no construction work has been happening for more than six months because Iita allegedly owes a company responsible for security at the site about N$50 000. The security company, Miami Diplomat Corps and Investment CC, is owned by a certain C Matengu. Matengu yesterday said he locked the site because Iita has been refusing to meet with him "to discuss the issues regarding the delay in payment".

He also threatened to sell building materials that are currently locked up at the site in order to recover what he is owed, should Iita fail to honour their agreement.

"If Mr Iita fails to honour the outstanding security payment amount of N$49 282, I will be left with no choice but to sell the equipment and materials locked up at the premises," he said. Iita yesterday denied that he has been avoiding Matengu and refused to discuss why he has not paid Matengu or why construction stopped.

Although Iita said he was not aware of the exact amount owed to Matengu, he said the latter was aware of why he has not been paid, and added that they had an agreement.

"Tell him to come to me. Ask him to give you a letter that I wrote to him which indicates how we are going to pay him. I am not even supposed to discuss this issue with you. It is confidential information," Iita said.

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