Millions 'missing' in Walvis Bay

Muronga Haingura, CEO of the Walvis Bay municipality, says they are in the process of reconciling the funds in their bank account.

07 September 2020 | Local News

LEANDREA LOUW

WALVIS BAY



Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge has threatened legal action if the Walvis Bay municipality does not account for N$24 million he claims is missing under the massive urban land servicing initiative.

Plots worth N$24 million were registered in the applicants' names, but this money never reached the municipality's bank accounts and therefore is not reflected on the audited financial statements, he claimed.

Ipinge said for that reason he could not accept the financial statements for the financial year ended 30 June 2018.

Ipinge demanded that the municipality provide the Erongo regional council with detailed feedback on the missing money before the end of business this past Friday.

“Failure by the municipality of Walvis Bay to provide feedback by latest Friday, 4 September 2020 before 17:00 will automatically activate criminal charges brought against the individuals and entities liable for the missing money,” he said.

He added that an independent forensic audit would be ordered.



Municipality response

Muronga Haingura, CEO of the Walvis Bay municipality, says they are in the process of reconciling the funds in their bank account.

He explained that the registration of deeds under the land servicing project is done by the conveyancers.

“Once a property is registered at the Deeds Office, then the conveyancer will simultaneously inform the banks as well as the municipal council, giving details of the properties as stated at the Deeds Office.

“Thereafter the bank, upon receipt of that confirmation, will then transfer the money from the bank to the municipality.

“This is how we would recover the money that we had initially paid to the contractors.”

Haingura explained that what has happened lately is that the bank would directly transfer the funds to the municipality.

“In some instances, the bank will pay the money to the lawyers. The lawyers in turn will then pay the money to the municipality and through that process, one could experience a delay.

“When the conveyancer registers a property, they will inform the council that the specific property has been registered.

“However, when the bank pays money into our accounts there will be no reference to an erf number. We will then place that money into a suspense account because we do not know which erf these funds are for.

“I can confirm that we have money not accounted for; we cannot tell which property these funds refer to. It is definitely more than the N$24 million which is allegedly missing.”

Haingura denied any wrongdoing.

“I have come across very smart and knowledgeable law enforcement officers in Walvis Bay. If there are any criminal activities relating to this issue, they will definitely pick it up. If there is anyone who has misused or abused funds, further actions can be taken,” he said.

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