ONGWEDIVA – The Ohangwena Regional Council has dared the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), which accused council of rampant corruption, to report any such case to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
PDM regional coordinator in Ohangwena Region Hidipo Hamata recently labelled the Ohangwena Regional Council as a corrupt entity.
Hamata said the council has not been producing financial reports and accused it of squandering public funds while no development was evident in the region.
In response, the chief regional officer at the council Fillipus Shilongo, in a media statement, acknowledged that council has not been fully compliant with submitting audited financial records as is required, but assured that all financial statements are now in place and would be submitted to the Auditor-General by September this year.
New Era earlier this year reported that Ohangwena was struggling to produce prompt financial records because of an extended backlog.
In addition to the backlog, council was also struggling to use the accounting system in place.
Shilongo, who at the time was the acting chief regional officer, made the revelations to members of the National Council’s Public Accounts Committee, who were in the region to seek explanations to concerns raised in the council audit reports.
“In brief, all outstanding financial statements will be submitted by September 2018 as agreed upon with the office of the Auditor-General,” Shilongo said in the statement.
“It is therefore important to inform PDM and all concerned that Ohangwena Regional Council has records as proof of financial statements so produced and submitted accordingly,” said Shilongo.
The region has been without an accounting officer for the past four years until recently when Shilongo was appointed in March this year.
In regard to the unaccounted N$68.2 million as reflected in the Auditor-General’s report, Shilongo explained that the money was erroneously placed when the financial records were drafted. He said the error was previously also clarified to the public funds committee.
The CRO further advised Hamata to acquaint himself with the governor’s latest state of the region address in order to appreciate the work done during the last financial year and also the projects earmarked for the region this year.