Ministries sued over N$40m government debt

Two ministries have been dragged to court together with the Offshore Development Company, the Namibia Development Corporation, and the Namibia Industrial Development Agency (ODC) for failing to pay over N$40 million to architects. 

In court documents seen by The Brief, Barnard Mutua Scriba Architects claim that they were not fully paid for architectural services such as design proposals and sketch plans for the development and construction of three projects on behalf of the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade. 

The three projects in question include the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade’s Head Office (N$28,644,339.56), the Okahandja Pharmacy (N$2 million) and the Trade Hub project (N$10 million). 

The architects said they also entered into an agreement with ODC for the development of the Namibia Trade Hub in 2015. 

"The agreement was that we will provide professional architectural services to the ODC alternatively the NDC for the development of Project 1 and we will charge and invoice the ODC alternatively the NDC on the minimum fee chargeable. The professional architectural and project development services, which comprised a five-stage process to be rendered by us included producing design proposals of the Project, conducting commercial and financial viability assessments of the Project, various site visits, various sketch plan meetings etc," read part of the court papers. 

The architects further claim that for any work undertaken by them, on a time-charge basis, shall be reimbursed to them by the ODC, at following rates: principals, partners or directors charge N$1,577 per hour with an annual 8% increase. 

"The hourly time charge for registered professional staff is calculated at N$17.5 per N$100 or part thereof of gross annual remuneration. The hourly time charge for other salaried professional and technical staff is calculated at N$0.15 cents per N$100 or part thereof of gross annual remuneration," they said. 

Barnard Mutua Scriba Architects said the ODC, alternatively NDC, breached the agreement by failing to pay remuneration to the plaintiff, for their professional services rendered, within 30 days upon presentation of the plaintiff’s invoices, alternately upon demand, despite the same having been due, owing and payable. 

Additionally, the plaintiffs allege that the ODC owes them N$2,055,811.24 for the development of the construction of the Pharmaceutical Facility in Okahandja, in 2016.

The respondents are yet to file their heads of arguments, while a case planning management convened on Monday in the Windhoek High Court. The matter is before Judge Herman Oosthuizen.



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Last modified on Tuesday, 20 September 2022 18:33

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