Namibia: N$17,6m Clinic Still Incomplete

THE construction of the Onamafila clinic in the Ohangwena region's Oshikunde constituency remains incomplete.

The project commenced in November 2019 and was set to be completed on 4 June 2021, but this date has now been extended to 4 December this year.

The clinic is constructed by Ongoma Trading, which is owned by Fulbertus Kwedhi.

When The Namibian visited the site last week, workers said they have not worked since 22 June, because they have run out of building materials, such as cement.

They said they do not have leap channels, doors and window frames.

They also need diesel for the tractor they use to deliver bricks to the site.

They further said they have not been paid for two consecutive months.

When they asked Kwedhi for their payment, he told them he does not know them and has not employed them, they claimed.

There are 22 workers on the project, 11 who are general workers, three supervisors and seven builders.

"When we ask our supervisors for our salaries, they tell us if we don't want to work, we must last home," one of the workers said.

According to them, Kwedhi paid them half of their salaries last Wednesday.

The workers claimed they are suspended if they do not show up for work, despite not being paid.

They also said Kwedhi does not visit the site.

"He calls our supervisors to go to him by the main road to Okongo, and gives them instructions," they said.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Kwedhi said: "I am not allowed to comment on it. Call Mr Kathindi."

He said he was not aware that the workers have not been paid.

Ben Kathindi, the Onamafila clinic's project manager, yesterday said the delay in completing the construction of the clinic could be attributed to many factors, such as Covid-19, and the provision of materials by suppliers.

"The Ministry of Health and Social Services is trying its best to pay. However, there is very slow progress on site. I was supposed to have gone there this week, but the progress on site does not warrant my trip there. The contractor must be back on site today. When I spoke to him today [Monday] he said they were on site," he said.

Kathindi also said less than 50% of the work has been completed, since 21 door frames and all window frames are still missing from the building.

Executive director of health and social services Ben Nangombe promised to provide a "comprehensive report" on the project, but has not done so at the time of going to print.

New Era reported in 2019 that Kwedhi used his own money to build an office for Swapo at Okathitu Konkayi village in the Omusati region.

The project was reported to have cost over N$300 000.

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