Uutoni takes aim at Grootfontein

The urban and rural development minister will make a decision on the troubled Grootfontein municipality once he has all the facts at his disposal.

22 September 2020 | Local News

Kenya Kambowe

RUNDU



Urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni says investigations into the affairs of the troubled Grootfontein municipality are ongoing.

Leadership squabbles and allegations of dubious land sales, abuse of resources and failure to deliver services are rife at the municipality.

In an interview with Namibian Sun, Uutoni said the ministry cannot pronounce itself on the issue before the completion of the investigation.

It has been 18 months since Uutoni's predecessor, Peya Mushelenga, launched an audit investigation into allegations of maladministration and poor governance at the Grootfontein municipality.

“We are still investigating because it's a lot of things. I would not like to say things which are not accurate. So, I am just waiting until such a time that all the facts are brought together and then a decision will be taken,” Uutoni said.



'Total disarray'

Grootfontein CEO Kisco Sinvula, who was appointed in March, has been embroiled in leadership issues at the town, which forced him to pen a five-page statement last week.

Sinvula exposed what he describes as “total disarray” and an appalling state of affairs at the municipality.

He claimed there is a clique of staff and council members who are systematically plundering the council's limited resources.

In the statement dated 15 September, Sinvula makes allegations against some staff members and councillors, whom he accuses of not adhering to the Local Authority Act.

He also revealed a “standoff” with Grootfontein mayor, Absai Haimene.

He said Haimene has, since April, refused to sign a letter in which he requested for a ministerial enquiry into allegations of misconduct by two staff members.



'Appalling'

“Work ethics among staff members were appalling. I got the impression that employment at the Grootfontein municipality mainly revolved around overtime, which for me seemed to be an entrenched culture and basically a tradition of council employees to milk limited financial resources that should have been strictly invested in the delivery of much-needed community services,” Sinvula further wrote.

Attempts to get comment from Haimene proved futile.

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