WINDHOEK, 23 MAY – Government has declared an agreement between the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) and China’s State-owned Jiangsu Nantong Sanjian Construction (JNSC) Group invalid as a result of failure to consult its line minister before it was signed.
The board of the RCC and JNSC entered into and signed a ‘Funding and Technical Support Agreement’ on 09 April 2018 without prior input or approval from the Minister of Works and Transport, John Mutorwa and without obtaining legal advice from the Attorney General (AG), Albert Kawana.
Local media reports on Tuesday said the agreement entailed that the JNSC Group would give the RCC N$580 million in exchange for partnering with the company on projects worth over N$2 billion.
Mutorwa announced during a media conference held on Tuesday that the agreement was invalid and lawfully unenforceable and that the RCC’s board was directed to cease the contractual agreement with the JNSC Group.
The minister sought legal advice from AG on the agreement, which yielded the directive to not implement any steps in accordance with the agreement.
Mutorwa said this would result in possible disciplinary action against those who were involved in the matter, whilst the ministry was still deciding on the future of the RCC and its employees.
“The ministry will not put up a witch hunt, however it was my duty as line minister to say that if there are similar agreements at other State-Owned Enterprises, then they should be advised to ensure that agreements are legal and have been scrutinised by the AG,” he said.
He further cautioned leaders to make sure that agreements made have passed the scrutiny of legal processes and avoid any signing of irregular agreements.