Rundu, Redforce marriage turns sour

Town councillors at Rundu want to back out of a contract with a private debt collector, amid claims that neither party is abiding by the terms of the deal.

31 August 2021 | Government

Council back-pedals on debt collection KENYA KAMBOWE RUNDU

It has been less than a year since the Rundu town council procured the services of debt-collecting company Redforce and that relationship is already turning sour as the two parties are failing to honour the agreement they signed.

At Tuesday’s Rundu town council meeting, it was revealed that Redforce is failing to meet its targets of collecting revenue, while Redforce is demanding answers from the council about agreements made between the council and defaulters who had been handed over to Redforce.

All this emanated from a motion tabled by the Rundu Urban Community Association (RUCA) representative on the council, Nico Ndumba, who called for the council to review its agreement with Redforce.

Ndumba motivated his motion by arguing that the current conduct of Redforce is too harsh on the residents and that elderly people in the community are being “harassed and humiliated” by the debt collector.

He proposed that only those owing more than N$10 000 should be handed over to Redforce.

Mayor Gabriel Kanyanga subsequently informed his fellow councillors that since Redforce was failing to meet its targets as stipulated in the agreement, the council could resolve to do away with the agreement since members of the public and fellow councillors were of the view that the debt collectors were causing instability in the community.

Interference

However, Kanyanga said such a decision would be problematic, since the council was not honouring the agreement.

Kanyanga said he had received a letter from Redforce which accused the local authority of entering into separate agreements with defaulters that were already handed over for debt collection.

In one such incident, Redforce disconnected the water supply to a shopping complex owned by a prominent Chinese-born businesswoman, which was later reconnected by council staff after an agreement was reached without the knowledge of Redforce.

Furthermore, a number of government institutions have been failing to comply with Redforce and they only seem to be communicating with the council - something that did not sit well with Redforce.

Namibian Sun has also been reliably informed that the town council is struggling to pay Redforce for its services, since defaulters pay the money directly into the municipal account.

Payment

When contacted for comment, Redforce CEO Julius Nyamazana referred all questions to the council.

“Rundu town council has employed me, I refer you to them for the answers you seeking,” Nyamazana responded.

Rundu CEO Olavi Nathanael confirmed the incident involving the shopping complex but said the matter had been resolved.

Nathanael said the council was in the process of “harmonising relations” between the community and Redforce.

He said the community should realise that Redforce was helping the council to provide much-needed services with the funds being collected.

He denied that Redforce was not being paid its share of the monies collected.

“We are paying Redforce what is due to them,” he said.

Redforce is on a mission to recover over N$450 million owed to the local authority.

Namibian Sun reported in June that Redforce had recovered just over N$29 million of the debt.

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