By Confidente Reporter
RESIDENTS of Khorixas in the Kunene region recently staged a peaceful demonstration over alleged rife corrupt activities and wasteful expenditure by the town council’s management and handed over a damning petition to the town’s deputy mayor, Emgardt Nanuses, which was also sent to Urban and Rural Development Minister Sophia Shaningwa for intervention.
The corrupt dealings residents want investigated include the disappearance of N$3 million meant for the construction of a much needed fire station, the rushed and unprocedural awarding of a N$7 million road tender and nepotism amongst a host of other irregular affairs.
The residents in the petition, a copy of which is in Confidente’s possession said that the unabated corrupt practices caused a rapid decline in development in the town fearing it could have a negative social impact in the long run if not properly investigated and amicably addressed.
“With great concern we the community of Khorixas would like to bring forth the following anomalies brought forth on several occasions during KTC (Khorixas Town Council) gatherings in the past but which were never deliberated on in depth,” part of the petition reads.
Highlighting the corrupt activities, residents narrated the mysterious disappearance of N$3 million earmarked for the construction of a fire station which cannot be accounted for to date.
“We would like to know why the Swapo-led council failed to inform the relevant law enforcement units for proper investigations if they suspect that there was a misappropriation of taxpayers’ funds,” the letter reads in part.
Last year however, Mayor Gerson Goagoseb said that the council was investigating the matter after his new council adopted the problem from the previous administration.
The petition also narrated the misuse of Road Authority funds by the former and present councils. “We would like to know how much money was allocated and detailed financial statements on how the money was spent”.
The petition further highlighted that there were dubious circumstances under which the purchasing of the Chief Executive Officer’s house was facilitated after it (house) was renovated at the council’s expense and purchased at a low price.
The petition also mentions the inflation of funds in the controversial sewerage renovation tender and how the project was awarded to acquaintances of council managers.
“Before the payments were due, the current councillors were alerted on numerous occasions to launch an investigation into the alleged fraudulent inflation of amount for the renovations not carried out, nevertheless the majority Swapo council still continues with the payments without launching an enquiry into the alleged irregularities through commission or omission and on enquiry the Mayor replied during the executive meeting that they were new in the council and thus could not take any action.”
Another irregular affair is the alleged service contract extension of former UDF CEO under dubious circumstances as well the purchasing of Sunrise Hotel in the town by a former Swapo councillor.
“…The former UDF councillor and deputy mayor opposed the agenda and in particular the service contract extension and boycott the proceedings, which left the meeting with only two Swapo councillors and two UDF councillors. However the two Swapo councillors never staged any attempt to boycott the proceedings and ratified the recommendations for the extension of the service contract and the purchasing of Sunrise Hotel which is tantamount to the conflict of interest and ostensibly corruption of the highest order if allegations seem to be true.”
Other burning issues are the provision of land for building churches in the town, unfair distribution of mass housing NHE houses, underperformance of the town planning, the false statistics of 450 Build Together houses and town council staff members without suitable qualifications in strategic positions receiving huge salaries.
While officials on conditions of anonymity acknowledged receiving the petition, it is not clear what the way forward is. At the time of going to print, efforts to get comment from Shaningwa proved futile.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015