Agribusdev probe almost complete
The agency’s business operations, financial management control and procurement processes are under the spotlight.
12 January 2021 | Local News
A probe into the governance and financial affairs of Agribusdev will be finalised later this month, public enterprises minister Leon Jooste has said.
The probe is centred around Agribusdev’s overall business operations, financial management and control and procurement processes.
Jooste said he received feedback on the probe, but indicated that a detailed report, which will include new recommendations to be implemented, is yet to be completed.
“I received the first feedback report from Deloitte on 16 December 2020 where the scope of the investigation was discussed.
“The final report will be available before the end of January and we will then proceed according to the recommendations. A new board will be appointed and the recruitment process can commence as soon as possible after their appointment,” he added.
The probe started last year after the suspension of former Agribusdev boss Petrus Uugwanga, who died after allegedly committing suicide.
The late Uugwanga and the board were involved in brutal fights since 2018, a situation which culminated in his suspension.
When contacted for comment, Agribusdev board chairperson Sophia Kameeta could not provide any details on the ongoing probe or when the company was expected to replace Uugwanga.
“You are asking the wrong person, you should ask the ministry of public enterprises,” Kasheeta said.
Last June, Jooste refused to divulge information regarding Uugwanga's suspension.
It was suggested at the time that the suspension was related to the performance of the company and its inability to sustain itself despite managing more than 11 green schemes around the country.
The company, tasked with managing and supervising the green scheme projects across the country, has been besieged by financial difficulties in recent years.
It has been struggling to pay suppliers and the salaries of its approximately 130 workers. The agency is also said to owe South African company Kynoch, which supplies agricultural products, close to N$20 million.
The agriculture ministry in 2019 announced that it would lease out some of the 11 green schemes to the private sector.