NHE distances itself from alleged Katima mass housing scam

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Albertina Nakale

Windhoek-The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) has dismissed allegations that some of its employees based in Kavango were suspended along with employees of the Katima Mulilo Town Council implicated in a bribery scandal involving the allocation of houses constructed under the government’s mass housing development programme.

This follows an article New Era ran last week that the Katima Mulilo Town Council has suspended three officials on allegations they corruptly accepted kickbacks ranging from N$10,000 to N$20,000 to put people on top of the list of beneficiaries of mass housing units at the town.

NHE CEO Gisbertus Mukulu issued a statement that contrary to such reports “no NHE employee has been suspended in relation to the allocation of houses, let alone any other issue”.

Mukulu says NHE has been directed to allocate houses based on the waiting list submitted by the local authorities. The mayor and the chief executive officer of the town council must sign the list submitted to NHE. “It is important to note that this ministerial directive has been adhered to by NHE without compromise in allocation of all unoccupied mass housing houses in all towns, Katima Mililo included,” Mukulu said.

Katima Mulilo Mayor Georgina Mwiya-Simataa had confirmed the presence of an alleged Katima Mulilo syndicate that has been operating for years, scamming people of money in exchange for mass housing units at the town. The syndicate was only uncovered after some of the individuals who parted with the bribes complained to the town council management that they had paid officials handsome amounts in exchange for the preference of being placed on top of the housing list, but which did not happen.

The names of the Katima Mulilo suspended officials were given to New Era but cannot be published as the officials still have to appear before a disciplinary hearing and they have not appeared before a court.
They include a housing clerk, a planning officer and an assistant accountant.
Mwiya-Simataa said although they were still waiting for an official report the CEO briefed them in a management meeting that issues of irregularities are under investigation pertaining to the list for the allocation of houses.

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