Uutoni consults AG over Rundu debt collector
19 October 2020 | Government
Urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni will seek advice from the attorney-general over the contract between the Rundu town council and Redforce Debt Management, which the minister is seemingly unhappy with.
Uutoni’s representative on the town council, Sebastian Kantema, says the contract between the cash-strapped local authority and Redforce has not been terminated, as was widely reported.
Kantema on Friday explained that Uutoni’s recent pronouncement on the agreement between the town council and Redforce was misinterpreted by the media.
Kantema explained that Uutoni’s meant that Redforce would suspend its operations until the minister has been advised by the attorney-general’s office on the contract.
“The minister said Redforce should stop and that does not necessarily mean terminate. The minister explained that under the Local Authorities Act, he needs to seek advice from the attorney-general’s office and based on that he will take a decision. This did not happen and that’s where we are now. We await the minister’s decision,” Kantema said.
Kantema, at Uutoni’s orders, had instructed Redforce to stop collecting council debt on 9 October.
It appears that Redforce had by then already sent out letters to the defaulters.
At Thursday’s meeting Uutoni said he was receiving calls from people who said they were still being referred to Redforce.
Namibian Sun saw a copy of the letter sent to Redforce informing it to cease representing the council in the interim.
However, Kantema indicated that the suspension letter was of no relevance any longer as it would solely depend on Uutoni’s decision on the way forward.
Rundu is owed over N$300 million by its residents, government institutions and businesses.
Redforce was awarded a tender to collect these debts on 6 August and was expected to start working by 1 September.
Redforce only started with its operations on 1 October and according to its CEO, Julius Nyamazana, the company managed to recover over N$3.6 million within eight days.
Namibian Sun was reliably informed that high-ranking government officials and local leaders are amongst those who have been contacted by Redforce to settle their accounts and have placed pressure on the council to terminate the arrangement.
In fact, a high-ranking politician on Friday in the presence of Namibian Sun confirmed having received a message from Redforce.
All opposition parties and civic associations interested in the affairs of Rundu town council have been using the council’s inability to collect its own debts to campaign against the ruling party ahead of next month’s local authority elections.