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Uutoni: Saving money for what?

2022-08-09  John Muyamba

Uutoni: Saving money for what?

RUNDU – Regional councils have been told to exhaust their budgets and not return any funds to Treasury while rural communities are languishing in poverty. 

Urban and Rural Development minister Erastus Uutoni said some regional councils are not utilising their budgets as intended, but they just keep money in bank accounts.

He told regional councils no one would praise them for saving money. 

The money allocated to councils needs to be depleted to develop rural communities.

“You cannot be a rich region if you are keeping money in your accounts. You can only be rich if we see that there are sustainable projects in your region. Saving money for what?” he asked during the official opening of the 2022 annual rural development planning and review workshop being held in Rundu this week.

The weeklong workshop started yesterday and ends Friday.

“Let’s not keep money in our accounts. You will be one of the poorest if you have money in your account,” he noted.

The minister noted it is disheartening and unacceptable to hear funds allocated for poverty eradication and employment creation projects in rural areas are either misused or sitting unutilised in bank accounts. 

“This should not be allowed. And I thus call on the responsible units in the ministry and the political leadership in the regions to do everything possible to accelerate and ensure timely execution and implementation of the rural development budget and projects. Yet, you are demanding the ministry to give more money while you keep N$2 million in your account,” he stressed.

Uutoni said the regional councils could also assist their local authorities when the need arises, as they are operating for the same goal: to improve the lives of the citizens. “In keeping with our resolve to eradicate poverty and under-development in the rural areas, the government has adopted and has been implementing several national and sectoral strategies and intervention measures,” he said.  “While I recognise and applaud us, as role players in rural development, for the effort that we are making and the progress that we have made towards uplifting the livelihood of our fellow countrymen and women in rural areas, the reality is that the urban-rural divide and rural poverty still exists, and we, therefore, need to do more in order to address this,” he noted.


2022-08-09  John Muyamba

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