Windhoek – Two senior managers at Gobabis Municipality are implicated in highy questionable land deals that saw them awarding themselves residential plots in the town’s most sought-after suburbs.
Municipality of Gobabis senior manager for local economic development Patricks Mbala and senior manager of technical services and infrastructure, Forbes Kanhukamwe (a Zimbabwean national) reportedly sat in on the council’s management committee meeting, which decided to award the two senior managers a plot each.
Although Gobabis chief executive officer Ephraim Davids denied that both Mbala and Kanhukamwe were part of the management committee meeting that decided to award them plots, minutes of the meeting seen by New Era show that both managers in fact attended the management committee meeting that decided on the land deals.
In fact, Kanhukamwe, acting as the town’s chief executive officer, went on to write and sign official letters to Mbala and himself, that the town council “has approved [his application to purchase the erf] and the modalities and conditions of purchasing will be communicated to you on approval of the budget.” However, Kanhukamwe’s approval letter went unsigned.
A quick check with the Ministry of Home Affairs public relations office revealed that Kanhukamwe, a Zimbabwean national, has no valid work permit, as his work permit expired last year. Home Affairs has since instructed the immigration department to investigate the matter.
Contacted for clarity last week, Davids refused to comment on what had transpired in the said meeting, referring all queries to municipal spokesperson Frederick Ueitele.
Ueitele did not respond in detail to questions sent to him via email. Instead he forwarded copies of the minutes of a management committee meeting and the minutes of the Tender Board meeting. Kanhukamwe in turn refused to comment on the matter, referring all queries to the municipal spokesperson.
“I’m not at the office. I could have presented you with all the evidence if I was at the office. Please call again me after two,” he said when contacted for comment last week.
His phone later went unanswered.
For reasons known only to them, Gobabis Municipality also declined to provide New Era with details on the size and cost of plots in question.
The municipality is also under scrutiny for hiring a company to service the erven sold to the two said executives, without advertising the job on public tender, as required.
Ditshetlo Investment CC was given the job to service the two plots at a cost of N$480 011.
This was done although Mbala in his application indicated that he was willing to service the land himself.
“The council of Gobabis is pleased to offer you work for the construction of sewerage and water connection to the three infill stands along Makamer for the sum of N$480 011.03,” reads the municipality’s letter to Ditshetlo Investment.