Two Health accountants charged with fraud

20 May 2014 10:40am
OTIWARONGO, 20 MAY (NAMPA) – Two accountants in the Otjozondjupa Regional Health Directorate have allegedly defrauded the Ministry of Health and Social Services of between N.dollars 1.3 million and N.dollars 7 million.
Health and Social Services’ Permanent Secretary (PS), Andrew Ndishishi on Monday confirmed to Nampa that he laid a charge of fraud against the two employees, aged 40 and 53.
It is suspected that the alleged fraudulent activities took place between 2006 and 2013.
He said an internal audit process at the Otjozondjupa Regional Health office in Otjiwarongo from November 2013 to January this year led to the discovery of the fraudulent activities.
Ndishishi, however, refused to divulge when and where the charges were laid, nor the method used by the duo to defraud the ministry.
“I sent the Health Ministry’s internal auditors to the Otjozondjupa Regional Health Directorate in Otjiwarongo last year in order for me to take action,” he explained.
According to a source - who preferred to remain anonymous - the two accountants were in February this year relocated from their offices at the Otjozondjupa Health regional office to the Otjiwarongo District Hospital, where they are temporarily operating from.
The relocation was meant to allow investigations into the suspicion of fraud.
Contacted for comment on Thursday, Otjozondjupa Regional Health Director Maria Kavezembi referred this reporter to the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ Public Relations Officer, Ester Paulus in Windhoek.
She confirmed knowledge of the charges, adding that an investigation was underway.
“We will issue you with a media release once the investigation is completed, but not anytime soon. The Health director in the region will indicate to me once the investigation is about to be completed, and I will then inform you,” Paulus said.
Meanwhile, the Otjozondjupa Regional Namibian Police Commander, Commissioner Joseph Anghuwo on Monday also confirmed knowledge of this incident.
“I heard of such allegations a long time ago, and I also informed Regional Governor Samuel Nuuyoma about it.
To my surprise, up to now there is no criminal case which has been opened against the accused in connection with this allegation,” he stated.