Hold Katima Mulilo miscreants accountable
A 2017 special audit report which was conducted for Katima Mulilo Town Council by the ministry of urban and rural development shows compelling signs of gross mismanagement and corruption which should end with those responsible brought to book.
The report, which exposes the shocking rot inside the town’s management in the era of former Chief Executive Officer, Charles Nawa Nawa, makes it evident that without stringent oversight mechanisms, politicians may end up benefitting at the expense of rate and tax payers.
The report shines light on how Nawa Nawa approved un-advertised tenders running into millions, spent over N$3 million unauthorised and even self-approved his own leave gratuity payment of N$289 000 for 112 days when he was supposed to be paid only N$134 613 for 60 days.
While all this was happening, the Council owed service providers such as Namwater and Nored more than of N$44 million.
Furthermore, councillors at Katima Mulilo town council and 39 employees of the town have outstanding debts on municipal services of at least N$300 000.
Indeed and too often, the public watches painfully as every storm blows away in the maladministration of local authorities with no one being brought to account. This has to stop and the case of Katima Mulilo provides a starting point in action that should sweep across all local authorities.
Without making any insinuations, this is the time that government needs to tighten its belt and safeguard the public purse particularly when it comes to local authority activities most vulnerable to corruption.
Although we have witnessed many cases in which public officials and private persons manipulated the system for their overall gain, it is highly noticeable that the individuals involved back then, today go about with their lives without any consequences. Whether they will abuse their power for personal gain again remains unknown but one thing for certain is that this undermines public trust and the credibility of the government.
It is vital to note that greed may well be the thorn in the poverty fight. This is because; greed focuses only on the self and ignores poverty, or often perpetrates the plight of the poor.
Good governance, whether in the public or private sector, is always a challenge. While we want and expect people to act with honesty and integrity, in too many cases, self-interest greed, and a lack of respect for the rights of others overcomes the basic obligation to act ethically. Essentially, accountability is one of the fundamental tenets of effective governance in both the private and public sector and responsible authorities need to make a stand.
We should always heed the fact that just as citizens rely on governments, they trust state lines ministries to manage public resources and provide essential services in today’s complex societies. This means providing quality services and ensuring honest and prudent management of financial resources and assets. It means providing these services in a safe way, in a fair, honest and professional manner. At the end of the day, it means demonstrating full accountability to the people.
As the nation increases attention on the importance of government transparency for accountability and good governance more generally, the demand for greater conceptual clarity and authoritative measures of government transparency must increase in all local authorities forthwith!