Eveline de Klerk
Swakopmund-The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is investigation five local authorities in the Erongo Region for alleged irregularities, ranging from suspect tender procedures to illegal plot sales and subleasing. The municipalities under investigation are Walvis Bay, Henties Bay, Karibib, Usakos and Omaruru.
The chief investigating officer of the ACC in Erongo, Walter Kurz, confirmed to New Era that they are currently investigation the sale of a large plot at Henties Bay that was initially leased out for tourism purposes, but was sold under questionable circumstances to a private contractor that is currently developing property on the land.
At Walvis Bay, he said, the ACC is investigating a tender for the tinting of council vehicles. “We also confiscated a computer from the mayor’s private secretary for our investigation,” he revealed.
Apart from that, Kurz noted that they are investigating three other cases in Walvis Bay: a case at Erongo Quarry, as well as the sale of several light industrial erven sold unprocedurally at the town, and a case of container theft at NamPort.
“Erongo Quarry is being investigated for subletting part of the land they are leasing from Walvis Bay Municipality to a Chinese company. All these cases are at an advanced stage,” he said.
The ACC, Kurz further noted, is also investigating the illegal sale of 74 erven at Omaruru. “We also arrested Jafet Garoeb, a property clerk of Karibib Town Council, in connection with low-cost erven he illegally sold at the town.”
Kurz went on to explain that Usakos Municipality is under investigation for suspected irregularities in the award of the tender for the new council building. “We’re just waiting for some documentation we requested with regards to the tender proceedings,” he said.
The ACC investigator said the biggest challenge the anti-graft agency faces though is the functioning of the justice system itself.
According to Kurz, many of the cases they investigate could lead to prosecution. “However, the continuous postponement of such cases results in suspects and witnesses absconding, resulting in the cases being withdrawn or thrown out of court,” he observed.