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N$140 000 flood relief money vanishes in Ohangwena

2024-02-01  Festus Hamalwa

N$140 000 flood relief money vanishes in Ohangwena

The Ohangwena regional council is investigating the disappearance of N$139 772 meant for flood victims in the region.

Ohangwena chief regional officer Fillipus Shilongo said the funds were donated to the Ohangwena Regional Council by the Road
Fund Administration (RFA) last year when most parts of the region were engulfed by heavy floods
which destroyed livelihoods and disrupted educational activities. 

“When we approached the RFA and requested our funds, we were told that the money had been paid to a different account after someone went to request the money,” he told New Era upon enquiry earlier this week.

He said the transaction was carried out without the council’s knowledge, or his consent as a CRO of the region.

 “We also informed the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) about this incident. We are busy with the investigation,” he added. 

The incident allegedly occurred in 2023 under the tenure of the former regional governor, Walde Ndevashiya. It is alleged that
during that time, the former governor’s assistant contacted the RFA, and requested that the money be transferred to the account of a company called Ethics Group Holding.

This request was based on a quotation amounting to N$199 772 to purchase flood relief items. However, documents in possession of this publication reveal that only food items worth N$60 000 (417 10kg maize meal bags, 252 cooking oil bottles, and 600 tinned fish cans) were delivered to the regional warehouse in Oshikango, leaving N$139 772 unaccounted for.

Speaking to New Era yesterday, the personal assistant of the former Ohangwena governor Medusalem Shilongo said he did not request money from the RFA. “I also heard about people saying that I requested money from the RFA intended for flood victims,” he added. 

Shilongo said he was never engaged by the regional council in connection with the missing funds, but contacted the RFA when he heard about this incident.

Also speaking to this publication, former governor Ndevashiya said the money never went missing because it was used to buy food for the flood victims, which was taken to a warehouse at Oshikango. “I received an email from the CEO of the RFA, stating that the money has been paid to the supplier,” he added.

However, he stated that if indeed it was found that the food which was bought was not equal to the money that was given by the RFA, then investigations should continue.

Ndevashiya stated that he was never consulted by the regional council nor
the Disaster Risk Management Committee about missing money.

“I also heard that there was food bought with the money paid to the account of the supplier,” he said.

Approached for comment, the Manager of Corporate Services of the Road Fund Administration (RFA), Scheifert Shigwedha, said the RFA is upset about this incident. 

He confirmed that money was paid into a certain account, but could not disclose more details as the matter is still under investigation. 

“It was our commitment to respond to the needs of the flood victims. It’s unfortunate that the money was paid to a different account,” he continued.

In a separate incident which occurred last month, the Ohangwena region’s disaster risk management unit lost more than N$600 000 worth of cooking oil and other items from its warehouse due to theft.

Six employees were arrested in connection with the incident, and were granted bail.  Their case has been postponed to 2 April 2024 for further police investigations.

The suspects have been identified as Minna Uukule (33), Jeipo Delany Hilongwa (42), Nehemia Shoovaleka (36), Gerrie van Wyk (42), Fillemon Shikongo (44) and Simon Joseph (33).


2024-02-01  Festus Hamalwa

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