Rundu welcomes ACC probe

The Rundu town council says it welcomes any investigation by the ACC and that it has done nothing wrong.

13 December 2019 | Disasters


Rundu mayor Isak Kandingu has responded to a letter circulating on social media which alleges that the Rundu town council illegally swapped land for services with a local company.

The allegation made in an anonymous letter to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is that the council offered the company a piece of land in exchange for the re-gravelling of streets without following procurement procedures.

The poor condition of the streets in several parts of the town is a headache for motorists.

According to the letter, the company awarded the tender for road works is linked to the council’s external investigator, Linus Neumbo.

Mayor Kandingu described the anonymous letter as a deliberate attack on the reputation of the Rundu town council.

“The Rundu town council has noticed a disturbing letter written by an anonymous individual to the Anti-Corruption Commission circulating on social media platforms, in particular WhatsApp groups,” Kandingu said.

“This letter is a deliberate attack on our reputation calculated to cause reputational damages, a campaign that cannot be ignored. We welcome any investigation by the ACC and we will be vindicated that there is nothing wrong that we have done.

“The publication of such letter of course constitutes the offence of defamatory libel and there is no difficulty in detecting the authors as they are well known,” he added.

Despite welcoming an ACC investigation into the matter, Kandingu used the opportunity to explain that the cash-strapped council had decided on a barter agreement because of a lack of funds.

“To set the record straight, [the] council invited four companies to submit their bids ... to re-gravel the existing roads in exchange for land. WFA Construction was the successful bidder and no councillor was involved in the evaluation and awarding process,” Kandingu said.

Namibian Sun is reliably informed that the plot offered is valued around N$600 000.

Kandingu also challenged the so-called whistleblowers to prove that barter agreements are prohibited by law.

On the issue of the link between the council’s external investigator and WFA Construction, Kandingu said the allegation was baseless as there was no partnership agreement between the two parties.

Kandingu stressed that Neumbo is just an external investigator for the council and not an employee or advisor on tenders.

When contacted for comment, ACC director-general Paulus Noa would neither deny nor confirm whether they had received the letter.

“I really do not know at this stage if there is something of that nature. When you are busy with other matters a complaint might come in but it will not be on my desk immediately, therefore I cannot deny or admit because I have not seen such complaint yet,” Noa said.

Neumbo was appointed as external investigator on 16 May 2017, when Verna Sinimbo was mayor.

Neumbo’s role at the time was to investigate allegations of misconduct against the council’s chief executive officer, Romanus Haironga.

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