Millions unaccounted from MULSP

Reconciliation underway

06 September 2020 | Infrastructure

Muronga Haingura; Walvis Bay CEO; “If there is anyone who has misused or abused funds, further actions can be taken…”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]

The councillor for Walvis Bay urban constituency Knowledge Ipinge says he will institute legal action against the municipality of Walvis Bay if the organisatoin does not account for what he termed “missing millions” under the massive urban land servicing initiative (MULSP).

According to Ipinge, the MULSP was announced following a meeting between government and the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement on 24 June 2015.

Subsequently, the municipality identified land to be earmarked for MULSP in Kuisebmond extensions 5, 6, 7 and 10, and Narraville extensions 7, 8, 9, 10, 13 and 15.

“N$230 million was paid by the municipality to contractors to build houses for applicants with whom the municipality signed deeds of sale. Erven valued at N$24 million have been registered in the homeowners’ names. However, these monies never reached the municipality’s bank account and as result doesn’t reflect on the audited financial statements presented to us.”

The handover of houses constructed at Kuisebmond extensions 5, 6, 7 and Narraville extension 7 took place on 27 October 2017.

“I do not accept the municipality’s audited annual financial statements for the financial year ended 30 June 2018,” Ipinge said, calling on the municipality to provide the Erongo Regional Council with detailed feedback on the missing money within 48 hours.

“Failure by the municipality to provide feedback by Friday 4, September 2020 before 17:00, will automatically activate criminal charges to be brought against the individuals and entities liable for the missing money. An independent forensic audit will also be initiated.”

Municipal response

The municipality’s chief executive Muronga Haingura is in the process of reconciling funds in their bank account.

He confirmed that there is money in the municipality’s bank account which has not been accounted for, saying that the registration of properties of the MULSP is facilitated by conveyancers.

“Once a property is registered at the deeds’ office, a conveyancer will simultaneously inform the bank and the municipality by providing property details as stated at the deeds’ office. Thereafter the bank, upon receipt of this confirmation, will transfer the money to the municipality. This is how we recover money that we initially paid to the contractors.”

According to Haingura, what has happened lately is that banks directly transfer funds to the municipality.

“In some instances, the bank will pay the money to lawyers. The lawyers in turn will pay the municipality and through that process, one could experience delays.”

Haingura added that when the bank pays money into the municipal account, there is no reference to an erf number.

“We then place that money into a suspense account because we do not know what these funds are for.”

He said that the municipality was in the process of approaching various banks to determine to which properties these funds belong.

“We are in the process of figuring out which properties have been registered. I can confirm that we have money that is not accounted for; we cannot tell which property these funds refer to. However, we definitely have more than the N$24 million which is allegedly missing.”

Haingura said that since 2016, incomplete properties in Walvis Bay remain for this particular project, adding that the municipality’s financial year starts on 1 July and ends 30 June each year.

“The allegations stating that N$24 million is missing, is out in public. It’s been on social media. That being said, I have come across very smart and knowledgeable law enforcement officers in Walvis Bay. If there are any criminal activities relating to this issue, they will pick it up. If there is anyone who has misused or abused funds, further action will be taken.”

Ipinge challenged Muronga to keep his word to provide feedback to residents by Monday for the first set of erf numbers using an acceptable reporting framework.

“Otherwise he should get ready for criminal charges to be laid against him,” Ipinge reiterated.

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