The Gobabis municipality, struggling to provide basic services to residents, is paying six suspended senior managers millions while they sit idle at home, waiting to be charged for over a year.
The six, whose salaries range between N$900 000 and N$1.1 million annually, have been on suspension since June and August last year.
Collectively, their salaries amount to N$6.3 million per annum.
The group comprised human resources executive Frieda Shimakeleni, electrical services manager Johannes Nantuua, human resource manager Ashipala Shilemba, finance, IT and procurement manager Fillemon Makili, IT technician Paul Kayambu and IT officer Kondjeni Nghiwanapo.
The six were suspended between June and August last year for allegedly disobeying or disregarding work-related orders, revealing confidential information about the council to unauthorised persons and interfering or tampering with evidence relating to another ongoing investigation.
Gobabis municipality chairperson Sylvester Binga yesterday confirmed the ongoing suspension, adding the municipality is engaging attorneys and anticipates charging the six this month.
Meanwhile, the six late last year lost an urgent court case in which they were seeking an order to declare their suspension unlawful, invalid and to be set aside.
They also sought an order declaring council meetings and resolutions passed on various dates in May, July and August as invalid and of no force.
The officials also wanted the court to set aside the appointment of Steve Adonis as the then-acting CEO of the municipality and any decision he may have taken.
In its latest report, the auditor general, Junias Kandjeke, tears into the Omaheke regional council and the Gobabis municipality for their inability to account for public resources entrusted to them.
The two entities were slapped with adverse and disclaimer audit opinions, respectively, by the auditor general office.
For years now, the AG has had run-ins in Omaheke due to a barrage of irregularities – either at the municipality or regional council.
“I have not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion,” Kandjeke said about the Gobabis Municipality in its 2019 audit report.
The auditors were also unable to obtain evidence to verify the land owned by the municipality.
During the previous financial year, adjustments of N$5.1 million were done to the land and appropriation fund balances to reflect the value of land previously excluded from the accounting records.
This, however, was not reflected in opening balances brought forward from the 2017/18 financial year.
“The auditors were not provided with a new valuation of all land owned by the municipality and the accompanying valuation methodology and assumptions,” Kandjeke found.
Additionally, the auditors found internal deficiency and mismanagement of capital projects by the municipality.