Windhoek – Kabbe South Constituency Councillor John Likando says some major capital projects in the Zambezi Region remain uncompleted, while contactors were paid the full amounts for the work to be done but instead abandoned the sites.
Without mentioning the specific projects, Likando noted that part of the problem is that government projects are supervised from Windhoek by the central government.
Hence, he said, the regional council should be given more oversight responsibilities on projects in the region because people are putting the blame and pressure entirely on the elected representatives.
“We don’t need to handle funds but we need to account for every stage of the project. I have good example: the ministries of health and education projects have become white elephants and monsters in most regions,” Likando said in his contribution to the debate on the 20118/19 national budget in the National Council last week.
He said the target to achieve 100 percent implementation of national development plans requires that the government close the loopholes.
For the 2018/19 budget the government has made a provision of N$378 million for development projects in Zambezi, which Likando said is quite a good amount in figures, but very worrisome in terms of regional priority.
From the allocated N$378 million a total of N$85 million, which accounts for 23 percent of the regional budget, goes to roads construction which started three years ago, with little progress, and N$42.5 million, accounting for 13 percent, for upgrading Mpacha airport.
However, he said, the issue of Mpacha airport is a non-starter since over N$60 million has already been spent on the project but conditions and the environment at the airport have worsened.
He noted that a combined 36 percent of the total regional allocation goes to these projects, which he said seems to be of concern for ordinary citizens.
“As regional representative in this august House I feel much pain, as these projects have become a cash cow for contractors on site while the project beneficiary remains isolated from the mainstream of our economy.”
Further, he raised his concern about the Namalubi-Lisikili-Kalimbeza road. He attributed the sorry state of the road to government’s non-payment of contractors, the rains and annual floods that cause work delays.
“Honestly, I feel that if these projects remain unsupervised at a regional level the government will bear more costs. We have a lot of requirements for the region other than to keep hostages on the two projects. The region needs more roads to link the constituencies … that have potential in tourism and agriculture,” Likando stressed.