By Confidente Reporter
THE Omusati Regional Council recently put on forced leave two senior officials amid allegations of financial and administrative irregularities, Confidente has learnt. The two are chief regional officer Protasius Andowa and deputy director of finance Elizabeth Mutota.
Sources close to the matter said that the leave will pave way for investigations into how the council amongst a host of other anomalies cannot account for an estimated N$12 million although Confidente could not independently verify the amount at the time of going to print.
Omusati Governor, Erginus Endjala confirmed the matter but declined to give out much detail when contacted. “I was out of the country but I heard about this matter. Unfortunately I cannot comment further because I am yet to be briefed,” Endjala said
The Council’s Chairperson, Modestus Amutse also confirmed the matter saying that if need be the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development will be consulted.
“They have been put on leave not because we are suspecting or targeting them. There are administrative issues that the council is looking at and we believe that giving them leave will allow for credibility and transparency to the investigations,” Amutse said.
Amutse however deflated allegations that the investigations will look at the status of the council’s finances labelling the probe as an administrative issue.
“We are not saying there is money involved. It’s purely an administrative issue that the council is looking at to give us a clear picture for the way forward. If need arises we will involve the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development,” Amutse explained.
Both Andowa and Amutse could not be reached for comment at their offices or on their mobile phones. They also did not respond to text messages sent to them at the time of going to print.
Nearly two years ago, the Council also suspended two senior officials, director of planning Abisai Shaningwa and Funeka Barthlomeus Shigwedha, the deputy director of development planning. At the time, the two according to media reports received their notices of suspension in the presence of police officers and were also subjected to body searches before being asked to leave Council premises in Outapi.
The suspensions according to the media reports had to do with alleged administrative failures that reportedly included the failure to implement service delivery projects in the northern region. They were accorded two weeks to respond to the allegations.
Amutse this week told Confidente that although the investigations into Shaningwa and Shigwedha’s allegations have not been concluded two years later, they have been allowed to return to work.
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