Agribusdev ‘targeted’ probe to be finalised soon

30 March 2021 | Agriculture

Kenya Kambowe


Public enterprise minister Leon Jooste says the final report on the probe into the affairs of Agribusdev will be completed within the next two weeks.

Responding to a Namibian Sun enquiry yesterday, the minister said they’ve already received a draft report.

“The final document will be ready within two weeks and we will then consider the recommendations contained therein,” Jooste said.

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.

‘Targeted’ probe

Jooste gave an in-depth response in Parliament when asked about the probe, saying it was not only looking into the conduct of the late Uugwanga, adding that it was not a forensic audit but a targeted one.

“The investigation was not purely intended to look into the conduct of the managing director but rather to look into various potential governance, financial and operational deficiencies,” he said.

Jooste was also asked about the sustainability of Agribusdev, which has been surviving on government bailouts to pay it workers. To this, the minister said his ministry and its agriculture counterpart are in consultations to address the matter.

“…[We] are engaged in consultations to remodel the existing approach to the green scheme projects to enhance the effectiveness and to unlock the productive potential of these important opportunities,” Jooste said.

Salaries paid

When contacted for comment yesterday, Agribusdev acting managing director Berfine Antindi told Namibian Sun that all employees received their salaries for the month of March.

For the past two months, this publication has been reporting on how the organisation was unable to pay its employees on time.

Antindi further shared that there has been commitment from the line ministry to ensure that employee salaries are paid during the 2021/2022 financial year.

According to Jooste, they have applied for budget support for the agency.

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