//Karas regional councillors and their chairperson have refused to give any answers as to whether an audit report indicating that N$77 million is unaccounted for at the regional council is true or not.
The matter was top of the agenda during an ordinary council session at Keetmanshoop on Monday, but at the marathon meeting which started at 10h00 and ended at around 22h00, //Karas Regional Council chairperson Jan Scholtz, who led the deliberations on the ‘Capital Projects Investigation Report,’ refused to comment on the outcome of the deliberations.
This comes after an article in The Namibian newspaper on October 25, which claimed that millions of dollars at the regional council are unaccounted for, according to an audit report. The article indicated that the council is unable to account for about N$77.2 million, which was meant for capital projects in the region.
Contacted for comment on the discussion on the report, Scholtz could only confirm that the report was discussed at the meeting, but refused to go into details, saying it is still under discussion. “At this stage I can’t comment on that. It was on the agenda, but it’s still going through different stages of discussions,” he said.
The meeting was open to the public, but members of the public were asked to leave part of the way through, leaving only councilors, chief regional officer (CRO) Saul Kahuika and //Karas regional governor to discuss the matter in confidence.
Sources within the council told New Era that although the report was top of the agenda, it seems the councillors are more concerned about how the media got access to such information, rather than examining the report itself.
In an earlier interview with New Era, the CRO indicated that contrary to media reports, the council’s books are in order and that every penny spent is accounted for, although he admitted that there are financial problems as a result of projects not completed on time.
“The state of finances at the council is in order, but there are some problems caused by project overrun,” he said. Kahuika also slammed the media report, saying it is a laughable fabrication to say that so much money is unaccounted for, while there are so many capital projects underway in the region.
“Where do you think all these developments are coming from if not from the N$77 million? These projects have not dropped from heaven,” he said. Kahuika said some people with questionable motives are trying to tarnish his image and that of the council.
“This media report is just a blatant lie by people having issues with me and the council,” he said.