Uncertainty looms over procurement of farms at Land Reform ministry

23 Sep 2019 12:30pm
WINDHOEK, 23 SEP (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Land Reform has failed to clarify whether N.dollars 123.1 million or N.dollars 221.5 million was used to purchase 12 farms during the 2018/19 financial year.
This forms part of the findings by Auditor General (AG), Junias Kandjeke, in an audit report submitted to the National Assembly by Deputy Minister of Finance, Natangwe Ithete recently.
“The Accounting Officer (Executive Director) reported that 12 farms amounting to N.dollars 123 120 501.75 were purchased. However, the general ledger reflects an amount of N.dollars 222 484 900 in respect of farms purchased. The accounting officer must explain the difference,” Kandjeke is quoted as saying in the report.
The difference that must be explained according to Kandjeke’s findings is N.dollars 98 million.
The 12 farms measure a combined 69 633 hectares, according to a statement delivered in the National Assembly by Land Reform Minister Utoni Nujoma earlier this year.
According to Nujoma, 13 families were also resettled during the 2018/19 financial year.
“Although several innovative approaches to acquire land under the current legal framework (willing buyer-willing seller) are being introduced, the amount of land that is eventually acquired still falls short of the current demand,” he said at the time.
Another issue the AG found wanting in the report is under-expenditure, which is in contravention of Treasury Instruction DC 0202, which stipulates that when drawing up draft estimates, accounting officers and their financial advisors shall take note of and guard against more funds than can reasonably be spent, being requested.
The ministry underspent its budget by an amount of N.dollars 26.7 million, which translates into 6.03 per cent of its budget.
“It is recommended that the accounting officer should put measures in place to avoid under-expenditure and ensure that planned programmes are implemented. It is further recommended that the accounting officer should comply with Treasury Instruction DC 0202,” Kandjeke further recommended.