CoW and KRC confusion may be settled this week

10 Jul 2013 06:10
WINDHOEK, 10 JUL (NAMPA) - The Khomas Regional Council (KRC) and the City of Windhoek (CoW) are likely to meet on Friday to resolve the confusion over the alleged illegal City of Windhoek budget.
Approached for comment on the matter on Tuesday, Windhoek East Councillor Nic Kruger said KRC chairperson Zulu Shitongeni is organising a meeting for Friday between the two parties in a bid to start ?proper? consultations on the budget.
The Regional Council recalled the CoW budget on Monday, saying the City of Windhoek gave short notice about presenting its budget to the KRC after they had already approved it.
Shitongeni told the media that this made the budget ?illegal? because the law was not followed to the council?s satisfaction.
Kruger said there is definitely not any other underlying reason for the KRC's decision to recall the CoW budget.
?During an open discussion between councillors last Friday, we found that the CoW budget was not done according to the law. In previous years they asked for consultation, and this year they did not do so,? he explained.
He said over the past two years in which he was a councillor, the CoW would hold a meeting well in advance with the KRC in order for councillors to give their contributions on the budget, and voice priorities within their constituencies.
?That was proper consultation, sending letters is not proper consultation,? Kruger charged.
When contacted on Tuesday, the City of Windhoek?s Corporate Communications? Manager Joshua Amukugo was, however, reluctant to specify when exactly the meeting between the two parties would take place, and would only say the meeting with the KRC will take place ?during the course of the week?.
Speaking during a media conference on Friday, Amukugo said the City did indeed seek consultation with the Regional Council, but through correspondence.
The media conference was organised to clarify the City's tariff increments announced during the 2013/2014 budget, which was tabled on 27 June this year.
He indicated that a letter was sent to the KRC by City of Windhoek Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Niilo Taapopi on 27 March 2012, requesting that the KRC submits its input to the 2013/2014 CoW budget.
A copy of a draft management committee agenda in which the budget estimates for 2013/2014 were explained, was also forwarded to the KRC, Amukugo stated.
Katutura-Central Councillor Ambrosius Kandjii said although some of his colleagues had received such letters, he did not receive one.
He added that this method ?totally missed the point?.
?This has nothing to do with input. Consultation needs to take place, where the budget is debated between the two parties,? stressed Kandjii.
The Local Authority Act (No.23 of 1992) Section 83, Sub-Section 1, states that ?every management committee and every Village Council shall in each financial year cause to be prepared, after consultation with the Regional Council in whose area the local authority in question is situated, a statement of its estimated income and expenditure during the following financial year.?
Shitongeni told this agency that the recall does not necessarily mean the budget will not be implemented.
?The City of Windhoek can still implement the budget, it is just a question of whether they want to do it legally or illegally,? he noted.
He attributed the confusion between the Cow and the KRC to a lack of communication between the two parties.
?It is the first time that we have experienced this. We are learning how to deal with the situation, but if we have to, we will consult legal experts,? said Shitongeni.