Ministry to Sell Disused Property

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By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK The Minister of Works, Transport and Communication Joel Kaapanda yesterday launched an Operation Clean Up Committee that will see to it that all disused property belonging to Government are disposed of through auctions. This decision comes hot on the heels of recent media reports depicting ugly scenes of neglected government property. It is estimated that the Government every year incurs huge losses in monetary value by not disposing of disused property as they depreciate in value. “Today, I have the privilege of introducing this committee to the media and public at large,” Kaapanda announced. The campaign will include government vehicles that are parked and are depreciating in government garages and elsewhere on State premises. “Government has taken full responsibility to correct this anomaly by deploying a team of officials to spearhead the Clean Up Campaign, which will usher in an era of good governance with a view to, inter alia, improve on resource utilisation for the benefit of our citizens,” he explained. Although he could not estimate the number of properties, especially vehicles, he said the exercise was not a one-off event, but a process of ongoing reform in order to improve on the management of government resources. “In other words, the line ministries will continue with this endeavour to, inter alia, reduce wastage and mismanagement of government resources and to ensure that resources are used optimally,” he stated. He said it was required from civil servants to timeously dispose of unused properties through public auctions to enable the Government to collect potential revenue as well as to stamp out corruption and prevent theft of public properties. The minister urged the committee to be fair, honest and undertake its responsibilities with diligence and integrity, as there would not be room for corrupt practices following the recently launched Anti-Corruption Commission. “You must guard against irregularities at all times in order to make the process fair and transparent – the Anti-Corruption Commission is there to guard against whoever dares to indulge in corrupt activities. The watchdog will catch up with them.” The minister also urged them to work closely with local authorities, regional councils and other key stakeholders, together to determine auction sites and a day of auction and to make sure that the public is well informed to enable them to take part in the auction. He said the ministry would continue monitoring the process to ensure that everything proceeds as expected. “We will make sure that the process will not be manipulated to serve the interests of a few. Hence, close supervision and monitoring of the clean-up process will be maintained at all times,” he cautioned. The first auction is today at Swakopmund, followed by Walvis Bay, Windhoek Stores, Oshakati, Ondangwa Stores and Opuwo on 8,10,13, 14 and 17 February 2005 respectively. Agricultural equipment will also be auctioned at Ogongo and Omahene on 15 and 16 February 2006 respectively. Leader of the Committee, Louis Lourens, said auctions would be advertised two weeks in advance to ensure public participation.