Tender to 5-Year-Old is Unethical

Cosmas Mukaratirwa

Namibia has reached the darkest depths of legalised corruption when the government gives a N$1,3 billion medicine business to a five-year-old.

Apparently, decision-makers at the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) see nothing wrong with entrusting buying of medicine to Cospharm Investments – a company 51% owned by a five-year-old and 49% by the father.

It doesn’t even matter that the father, Zimbabwean businessman Cosmas Mukaratirwa, was arrested for allegedly selling unregistered medicine worth N$657 800 to the health ministry. He was released on a warning.

All that matters, according to CPBN chairperson Amon Ngavetene, is that Mukaratirwa’s child is Namibian, which meant the company met a key requirement to “win” the contract.

Besides, argues Ngavetene, the father can simply get ‘power of attorney’ to act on behalf of his five-year-old. A child cannot legally enter into a contract, let alone a tender worth over a billion of taxpayers’ money. The father is conflicted to such a degree that the child should get independent protection.

Have Namibians lost all sense of an ethical and moral conscience that the state blatantly allows the abuse of a minor and a company by self-serving adults? Do government officials have no shame?

Some may try to use other terms, but corrupt and unethical conduct is what it is when adults misuse minors while other adults in positions of state power play along.

Namibia needs to find its ethical and moral compass soon, very soon, if it’s to stop the freefall into the abyss.

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