By Eliaser Ndeyanale
REGIONAL councillors who are members of the National Council Tuesday this week tabled a report in the chamber requesting for regional councils to be given authority over their development budgets.
“Budget allocation for regional councils must be paid directly to them and not through the line ministry (Ministry of Urban and Rural Development) to cut bureaucracy. Bureaucracy in Namibia is too much; it is hampering progress of Government. There is a need to review the entire system so as to rid it of unnecessary procedures,” read the report which was tabled by National Council deputy chairperson Bernard Sibalatani.
Adding his voice on the report, Tondoro constituency councillor Lukas Muha said most of the regional councils’ budgets for 2016 have not been approved despite there being only two months remaining for the year to come to an end.
“We have Chief Regional Officers whose positions are equivalent to that of deputy permanent secretaries yet they (line ministry) are saying we don’t have capacity at regional level to be allocated budgets. Something has to be done, so that the fund allocated directly to the regional councils without it going through the line ministry since as we are talking now, most of the regional councils’ budgets have not been approved,” said Muha.
The councillors also stressed the need for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Bill to be expedited by the ministry of urban for presentation to the National assembly.
“Local Authority Councils are underfunded. There’s a lot of unserviced land in the local authorities … more money is needed so as to service land and prevent unnecessary migration to major towns.”
Regarding Nkurenkuru Hospital which was abandoned before its completion and funds paid still unaccounted for, the councillors explained their request to be in control of development budgets further saying companies to whom tenders are awarded are misusing public funds and Government projects are not being completed on time throughout the country.
“In Kavango West land was donated by Nkurenkuru Town Council to build an intermediate hospital and a ground breaking ceremony was held by former president Hifikepunye Pohamba and two boreholes were drilled but so far no development has taken place. However, the region reports that the Ministry of Health and Social Services managed to divert the funds meant for the hospital to other purposes unknown to the region.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015