Noa in Okakarara, purpose of visit not clear

16 May 2014 11:10am
OKAKARARA, 16 MAY (NAMPA) – The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Namibia’s boss met the Okakarara Town Council’s leadership on Thursday, allegedly because of corruption claims by the community.
ACC Director Paulus Noa told Nampa that he only came to meet his ‘brother’ Nathanael Karuaihe, who is the chief executive officer (CEO) of this town.
Mayor John Viakondo was also in that closed-door meeting.
Several residents of Okakarara had written a letter to the ACC, complaining about the manner in which tenders for construction projects are being awarded by the town council.
The same letter was also forwarded to the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Charles Namoloh, further threatening that the community would use force and close the doors of the Okakarara Town Council building.
The letter was also copied and forwarded to Otjozondjupa Regional Governor Samuel Nuuyoma as well as Okakarara Constituency councillor, Vetaruhe Kandorozu.
This action of ‘closing doors’ was expected to take place on Thursday, the same day that Noa came to town.
However, none of the concerned community members showed up at the council building to put their threats into action.
In the letter, concerned community members said it seems that the CEO and town mayor were busy enriching themselves at the expense of the community.
The residents complained that the gravel roads under rehabilitation at the town are not worth the millions of dollars being paid to contractors, and that the town’s cleaning tenders are being awarded to some staff members working in the council.
“Tender allocation procedures here are not transparent, and if there is no positive reply given to us, we will lock the Okakarara Town Council building until our demands are heard, or your ministry intervenes.
We are sick and tired of these issues and misuse of council funds,” charged the community members in the letter.
Contacted for comment, Viakondo said the council was not aware of any of those accusations of misusing funds, or that it is unprocedurally awarding tenders as the community members claimed.
“Our offices are open for scrutiny. For me, it seems like these people are instigated by one person who has personal vendettas against the council, nothing else,” he stated.
Karuaihe, on his part, said all the concerns levelled against him are politically-motivated.
“It is that time of the year when political campaigns are near, and people make accusations aimed at tarnishing other people’s images. All is good here,” he noted.