Uuvidhiya-The management of Uuvudhiya Agriculture Youth Project has failed to account for about N$60,000, prompting the donor to halt the final disbursement of funds for the project.
GEF small grants programme national coordinator Nickey //Gaseb said the remaining funds allocated to the project will only be disbursed if there are no further signs of financial mismanagement.
“We will look at the report we have now and the report that is still to come and see where they stand. If there are no signs of mismanagement in the report and our verification receipts we will release the funds, but if there are some signs of money not being accounted for then we will not release the funds,” //Gaseb said.
The money in question forms part of the first disbursement of N$300,300, of which the total expenditure of only N$214,900 was accounted for.
The project was allocated US$42,000 from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Although the money initially unaccounted for amounted to about N$85,000, that figure decreased to N$60,000 after a recalculation.
//Gaseb said the second disbursement of funds was initially halted, but was issued because the project was supposed to end last December.
“In the meantime all these things came out, forcing us to have the project executed and because of that we allowed to have the second disbursement,” said // Gaseb.
The second disbursement was, however, attuned to changes in the project management, including the signatories of the accounts and a dedicated workplan, which should compel the project workers to achieve certain goals within the given time, which should be completed by April.
//Gaseb said there were visible signs of progress on the project since they last visited in January.
The chairperson of the Uuvudhiya Constituency Forum and project coordinator, Absalom Itamalo, dismissed the allegation of mismanaging funds.
According to Itamalo, the alleged missing money was not spent at the time the first financial report was issued, saying it will form part of the second report.
//Gaseb said his office has already received a “narrow” report, but he expects a detailed report outlining how the finances were used.
In a heated exchange, which led to the revelation of the missing money, Itamalo had accused the political leadership at the constituency of blocking developmental projects geared towards youth upliftment.
However, Constituency Councillor Amutenya Ndahafa said such accusations are fuelled by rage after the community development committee, of which Itamalo is also a member, started asking questions about the use of funds at the youth project.
The project currently only has six active members.