Hardap Council to Probe Chief

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By Hoandi !Gaeb MARIENTAL The Hardap Regional Council is to hold an emergency meeting this morning to deliberate on the future of the Chief Regional Officer James Sankwasa following the discovery of Government property worth thousands of Namibian dollars at a private farm some 40 km north from Mariental. The farm, Komatsas, belongs to an official of the council Sankwasa apparently admitted to having authorised the official to store the property on his farm due to lack of space at government offices at the town. Regional Governor Katrina Hanse confirmed the incident and said she called for an emergency council meeting this morning to work out modalities for the road ahead. She said she is appalled and extremely disappointed by the matter, as it is not clear at this stage whether or not any inventory was kept and if anybody can verify whether all government property has been recovered by the police. Hanse said she is surprised at the claim that no space was available at Mariental as some offices are empty at the government office block. “It goes beyond my comprehension,” she said. She said she is the chief representative of government in the region. “I am also the chairperson of the management committee and as such should have been informed of the removal of expensive government property from the premises, especially some 40 km away from the town,” she said. Meanwhile, it has emerged from an open letter addressed to President Hifikepunye Pohamba by “concerned citizens” for his intervention, that Sankwasa is allegedly taking decisions (such as the one to remove government property) on his own accord. The open letter, a copy of which is in New era’s possession, states that he did not seek council approval for giving study grants of about N$40 000; entering into contracts with outside organisations; the establishment of various committees; travelling nationally and outside the country; on who is to be sent outside the country for workshops; annual trips and budgets for councillors for official duty; on his office furniture (TV, DSTV decoder, laptop, etc.); signing his own travel and accommodation cheques; what he has to pay as rent for government houses; when to use the official government vehicle while receiving government car allowance; whom to allocate government houses; among others. A council official told New Era that the current state of affairs at the regional council, especially the be-haviour of the Chief Executive Officer and the Finance Director Charles Tjijenda, are demoralising workers and impacting negatively on the overall performance of the council and the region.

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