N$300m tender for valuation of NamDeb's diamond production still controversialJune 25, 19
The Namibian reported earlier this week that businessman David Shimwino denied having any links to Gem Diamonds, the company that won a N$300 million contract to valuate Namdeb diamonds over the next five years.
Namibia's Central Procurement Board (CPB) awarded the N$300 million contract to Gem Diamonds Namibia, while Global Diamond Valuators Namibia, the firm that currently provides the valuations services, had put in a bid for N$230 million only. The acceptance of Gem Diamonds' higher bid raised both eyebrows and many questions as to the tender's due process. Also, according to information Namibia's Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA), Shimwino was registered as a director of Gem Diamonds Namibia.
Shimwino, however, denies any links to Gem Diamonds. "I have no relationship with the company," he was quoted by The Namibian. "I have no knowledge about the tender. Therefore, for my name to appear in the newspaper, it can be only regarded as either character assassination or blackmail. I therefore demand, if there is such a tender, to be declared null and void, and sent back to the tender board for proper adjudication," he stated.
Mines minister Tom Alweendo told The Namibian last month that he hopes the CPB has good reasons for picking a company which wants to charge the government around N$70 million more than the current diamond valuators
"As the minister responsible for the valuation of our diamonds, I am seriously concerned about alleged irregularities with regards to the evaluation of the diamond valuation tender," he said.
He added that "for me, it will be unfortunate and abhorrent if it were to be the case that the tender evaluation process was tainted by irregularities, and we will be made to work with a service provider with a tarnished credibility".