Trust us with your money – Nandi-Ndaitwah
Opposition members urged government to be on alert against unscrupulous businesses that seek to profit from the Covid-19 pandemic.
09 June 2020 | Government
International relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah yesterday pleaded with Namibians to trust government with the money budgeted to handle the coronavirus crisis amidst cries that the numbers are not adding up.
Nandi-Ndaitwah made these remarks in the National Assembly when she responded to concerns raised by opposition Members of Parliament (MPs). According to Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) MP Vipuakuje Muharukua, there is a strong likelihood that some people may want to profiteer from this public health crisis and there is a need for Namibia to bolster her approach to these practices.
“We must do everything in our power to ensure the public procurement processes discussed when money is availed to schools and the health ministry do not remain silent about the inflating of prices in public procurement,” he said.
He added that it makes no sense for government to set aside N$600 000 to build ablution facilities for schools, but only half of this money goes into these projects.
Another issue that concerned PDM is the slow pace at which people are being tested for the coronavirus, despite the fast rate at which the number of positive cases is increasing. By yesterday, Namibia had tested only 4 943 people, of which 31 were positive, with 16 recoveries.
“We have set out a target of 200 000 tests to ensure we know our status and the health minister the other day said we are at 4 000. Added to that, a lot of people in quarantine are testing positive but we also know there are a lot of people who came into the country before these measures were introduced but were sent to self-isolate.
So, we do not know the full impact of these infections. We would implore that government speed up the testing, because it is very slow,” Muharukua said.
Please trust us
Nandi-Ndaitwah said she really wishes the time will come when Namibians can truly trust each other, especially regarding how government is spending money.
According to her, trust is a two-way street. The way you execute the responsibility will create trust. Now, as the government, we are given a responsibility when we are elected.
To manage this Covid-19 crisis where money is required.
That is why we are saying, why don't you want to trust us once in a while?” she asked.
She added that government is managing the Covid-19 crisis and needs time. She also mentioned that the reason for low testing levels is a lack of testing materials.
“These things are not cheap; it is not because we do not want. What we require is not available.
We are saying at least one third of the population needs to be tested,” she said.