Sipapela wants drought relief officials closely monitored

16 May 2019 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 16 MAY (NAMPA) – Linyanti Constituency councillor and Member of Parliament (MP), Cletius Sipapela on Thursday warned officials responsible for the distribution of the drought emergency relief to refrain from embezzling the resources.
In an interview with Nampa here Thursday, the Swapo leader said officials particularly those transporting the drought relief items to various regions should be fully and closely monitored, citing police officers should accompany the consignments.
“I know we are all human beings who make mistakes. Looking at the current drought situation in the country, we cannot allow our people who are devastated by hunger to be robbed of their intended food by it getting lost in the hands of corrupt people,” he stressed.
He therefore suggested that consignments should be followed by the members of the Namibian Police Force until all items are distributed to the rightful beneficiaries.
Sipapela claimed that in the past there were similar drought relief programmes where some items went missing as a result of theft, among other corrupt activities.
“There were complaints that some officials who were responsible for food distribution apparently went to buy different empty bags, replaced the contents of the drought relief bags, repacked them and sold it to the community. How can you sell government food to its people?” he said.
The councillor also called on all Namibians to be vigilant and report any suspected act of theft to the nearby police station without delay.
Sipapela said if all stakeholders account for the consignments within their powers, it will help the government to plan accordingly, adding that when corruption and all embezzlement activities are avoided, Namibia will easily be lifted out of poverty.
President Hage Geingob last week declared a state of emergency due to the drought and N.dollars 573 million has been assigned for drought relief, of which food assistance will cost N.dollars 90 million.