Otjozondjupa governor James Uerikua has vowed to crack the whip on corruption in the region.
“There is no room for corruption in this region and anyone, irrespective of their standing or position in society, will be subjected to the full wrath of the law if found wandering,” Uerikua said in his state of the region address last week.
“Let us report cases of alleged corrupt practices, both from the private and public sectors. Officials should be impartial and transparent in their dealings at all times.
We stand firm in support of our judiciary, law enforcement agencies and community policing groups in their pursuit against crime in our region.”
He said corruption robs society of their intended development benefits, and derails socio-economic development gains.
During the previous financial year, the urban and rural development ministry carried out internal investigations into allegations of corruption and mismanagement at the Okahandja and Grootfontein municipalities as well as the Otavi Town Council.
Uerikua said the investigation reports have been submitted, and action has been taken as per the report’s recommendations, including the arrest of those implicated.
“The offices of the mayors and CEOs of those local authorities are tasked with ensuring that all recommendations are implemented accordingly, and where need be, legal advice services be sourced,” said the governor. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has since arrested three officials, one civilian and a medical doctor who are implicated in corrupt practices.
Turning to agriculture, Uerikua said farmers in the region managed to benefit from the Namibia Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project (NAMSIP), aimed at improving food security and resilience.
This programme is at an advanced stage, and will be implemented during this financial year. Beneficiaries were selected, and various tools and implements are being sourced for distribution to farmers. “A cluster of seed multipliers has been selected and is ready for production,” he added.
Furthermore, during the previous financial year, the regional leadership undertook an awareness exposure visit together with the Namibian Agro-Marketing Agency (AMTA) to engage farmers and to sensitise them to become registered producers as well as how to access markets.
Farmers in all seven constituencies were introduced to methods of accelerating their participation in supplying AMTA with horticultural and poultry products. “To date, I can report successfully that a sufficient number of farmers have already registered with AMTA, and are ready to trade their produce through market access,” the politician continued. He said as the region is central, there is an urgent and serious need for the establishment of Strategic Food Reserve Facilities and Fresh Produce Hubs to support farmers for food security and sustainability.