Mutorwa wants assets list

Works minister John Mutorwa has cast his focus on state-owned assets and properties, saying the government has no idea of what it owns.

12 April 2018 | Government

Newly appointed minister of works and transport John Mutorwa has said that he would like to be provided with a complete list of assets owned by the government and urged officials in his ministry to expedite the process.

He made the comment during a briefing session which included the heads of various parastatals falling under his ministry.

According to him, there was no indication at present whether the government had an idea of all the assets that it owned and said he wanted to be ready to brief President Hage Geingob in case he was asked to give a report of what the government owned.

“I am not sure whether government is sure how many assets government has …I don't know whether the assets register is updated,” he said. Mutorwa also spoke about the condition of government property, particularly houses.

“There are reports that government houses have ended in private hands. I am waiting for a report and that report will give me an answer about these things,” Mutorwa said.

Works permanent secretary Willem Goeiemann said the ministry was verifying data gathered in the regions in terms of the national assets register.

The ministry's housing committee has in the meantime been instructed to submit a report by 30 April 2018 on the number of houses owned by the government.

Once complete, the report will list what properties belong to the government, their value and where they are located.

“The economy of a country can only be maintained by reliable transportation – vehicles, ships and trains. But if they are all grounded, what are we doing?” he asked.

Mutorwa said he was also concerned about the exorbitant payments the ministry had to make for poorly constructed public infrastructure including roads, clinics, airports and houses.

“Many valid complaints are received on a daily basis about poor construction of public infrastructure and poor supervision of the construction process of these infrastructures,” he said.

Misuse, wastage and theft of public resources, as well as favouritism, nepotism, corruption and abuse of positions were the other scourges facing the ministry and state-owned enterprises, he added.

The allocation of government houses to its employees was not done in a fair manner, while some houses were dilapidated or breeding grounds for criminals, Mutorwa told reporters, calling for stronger accountability.

-Additional reporting by Nampa

OGONE TLHAGE

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