By Kuvee Kangueehi
An international award-winning youth project, Kavango Cleaning Services and Pest Control Company, has literally collapsed and accumulated debts of over N$4,7 million after going into a joint venture with the National Youth Service of Namibia.
The Kavango youth project is now demanding that the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture pay for the financial losses they suffered through the merger. They believe that their loss is a result of the hasty arrangements and non-performance of the ministry.
In a letter by Ueitele and Hans Legal Practitioners on behalf of the Kavango Cleaning Services to the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture, the company claims that were it not for the ministry’s injudicious arrangement to move the project from Rundu to Berg Aukas, the project would still be flourishing to this day.
The once flourishing project did not do any business since the signing of the joint venture agreement with the NYS. All its former employees have since lost their income. They are now unemployed in the Kavango Region.
The project, which is the brainchild of Wensel Mavara, started in 1998. The business was registered as a close corporation and employed 12 full-time workers.
The company at its peak employed 19 youths who were involved in cleaning sofas, beds and interiors of cars, as well as pest control which involved spraying for cockroaches, mosquitoes, flies, bedbugs and other unwanted insects.
Bank statements and audited financial reports of the Kavango youth project indicate that the company was in a healthy financial situation with great potential to grow. It even branched out to southern Angola and expanded operations to the Caprivi and Oshikoto regions.
Because the business was initiated by a group of young people, it received financial sponsorship from Namdeb and the French government through the Namibian Government.
According the lawyers’ letter, the beginning of the end for the project started on June 1, 2004, when the then Deputy Minister of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture, Hidino Hishongwa, wrote a letter to Mavara requesting him to move to Berg Aukas Youth Centre near Grootfontein to start a joint venture with the NYS.
According to documents, Mavara relocated his business from Rundu and moved to Berg Aukas with all his employees and sold all his assets.
After signing the joint venture agreement, his employees were given training and worked with the Ministry of Agriculture in pest control. They were even involved in a locust outbreak in the Caprivi Region.
According to the documents, his employees were not paid and only received an allowance of N$250 per month. Prior to the merger, the employees used to receive between N$1???_?_’???_?’???_???