Defence pays N$300k to ghost attaché
29 June 2020 | Ministries
The defence ministry spent N$303 391 on a non-existing attaché purportedly posted to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), auditor-general (AG) Junias Kandjeke has found.
This was contained in an audit report for the 2018/19 financial year that was tabled in the National Assembly by finance minister Ipumbu Shiimi recently. In his report, Kandjeke acknowledged that a defence attaché was indeed appointed on 21 January 2014 and accredited to the DRC for a period of four years, between 1 March 2014 to 28 February 2018.
However, during the period under review, no individual was appointed as a defence attaché to the DRC.
This mission has a bank account which is held at Stanbic Bank in Kinshasa.
It had a closing balance of N$493 129.31 at the end of the 2017/18 financial year. However, during the year of the audit, the same amount was held under a Trust Merchant Bank SA account, also in the DRC, without any treasury approval.
Additionally, the ministry paid N$18 952.62 on 12 March 2019 in respect of “spouse allowance” from the Trust Merchant Bank account.
“No evidence was provided to substantiate the cost incurred, as the defence attaché who was accredited to that mission's term ended in February 2018. No proof was provided for any defence attaché being appointed during the period under review,” Kandjeke said.
It was also said the ministry opened a bank account without following the proper procedures as required by the State Finance Act. The ministry promised to dispatch a team of internal auditors to the office of the defence attaché to investigate Kandjeke's findings and submit an independent report to the AG.