Audit Nails School Head


By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK The independent auditing team commissioned in October 2005 to verify allegations that over N$72 000 was unaccounted for at the Caprivi Senior Secondary School has confirmed the initial findings as factual. The missing funds precipitated the ousting of Michael Mudabeti as Town Mayor of Katima Mulilo during a mayorship that was largely enmeshed in controversy. New Era was further reliably informed that the prime figure in the missing fund fiasco, Mudabeti, who claimed that the findings were doctored to destroy his teaching career, has apparently agreed to pay back the money. The money was misappropriated from the School Development Fund (SDF). The controversial head teacher’s political career finally wavered and took a turn for the worse last November, when the ruling party ordered him to step down. His reign as mayor was so detested by the community that on one occasion, he was allegedly manhandled by a riotous mob enraged by the water disconnections that took place at Chotto, an informal settlement at Katima Mulilo. Yesterday, when contacted for comment Education Permanent Secretary Vitalis Ankama confirmed that the independent team had established that funds indeed were missing and that the accusing finger pointed towards Mudabeti. On the allegation that Mudabeti agreed to repay the funds he stated: “It’s not for him to agree or disagree. If the investigation has found that money is missing, the system will continue with its charges,” he said. He however could not provide details of the charges. He is yet to receive feedback from the Regional Education Office on what action, if any, would be taken against the school head. Asked if the amount was more than the initial amount (N$72 000), he replied: “It’s possible, I don’t have the figures here with me.” The Regional Director of Education in the Caprivi, Lovemore Lupalezwi, yesterday refused to comment on the matter, stating only that a consensus was amicably reached between his office and Mudabeti. “I really reserve my comments,” he stated, adding that he would comment only after the case was concluded. Initially, when the two-person team of auditors sanctioned by the Ministry of Education turned up at the school, the headmaster blocked the auditors from carrying out their duties. He later reluctantly capitulated to a ministerial directive and allowed internal auditors from the regional education office to audit his books, but as soon as the findings were released, Mudabeti called them false, fabricated and another witch-hunt by his perceived rivals. He requested for an independent audit. Yesterday he said: “You are charging me with things I don’t know. My answer is I don’t know anything, that is my side of the story.”