KATIMA MULILO – Some Zambezi regional councillors have petitioned letters to management committee chairperson Warden Simushi to call an urgent council meeting, following the arrest of six senior officials.
This comes after the six suspects appeared in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court last week, regarding the fraud case involving more than N$4 million that disappeared at the Zambezi Regional Council.
The six implicated officials comprise Regina Ndopu-Lubinda, who has been serving as CRO since 2011; Beaven Walubita, who is head of planning and rural development; deputy director of planning Cletius Mubita; chief planner Daniel Mbala; deputy director of administration Abraham Shikoyeni, as well as chief accountant Nimrod Lichela.
They made their first appearance after
their arrest last week on charges of corruptly using their position or office for gratification.
All suspects paid bail of N$50 000 each, and they have since resumed work this week.
Due to the seriousness of the matter they are implicated in, some regional councillors have demanded an urgent special council meeting to deliberate on the matter and map the way forward.
In fact, about four councillors out of the seven expressed their displeasure towards the chairperson for failing to act on the matter.
“The chairperson is dodging the matter. The chairperson should call an urgent special council meeting. The full council needs to be informed, and then we decide on the way forward after we hear what really transpired.
About four of us, as councillors, are in full agreement and support of an urgent special council meeting. Some councillors wrote letters addressed to the chairperson to convene a special council meeting to hear the decision of the council,” revealed one councillor, who preferred anonymity.
Another councillor, who also spoke under anonymity, confirmed that four of the councillors are in support and want the council to convene an urgent special meeting.
“The officials are back to work. It is business as usual.
The chairperson is conflicted and will be forced to call that
meeting. In fact, two councillors have written letters to him, demanding that he convenes
the meeting,” the councillor stated.
The Zambezi regional governor yesterday referred all queries regarding the matter to the chairperson of the council.
Equally, Zambezi Regional Council spokesperson Damian Siambango referred all queries to the chairperson of the management committee.
Having been contacted for comment since last week, the chairperson did not respond to text messages sent to him or picked up calls from this publication.
The accused persons’ case has been postponed to 7 December 2023 for them to obtain legal representation.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) boss Paulus Noa last week vowed to go after each official using their public office for personal gain.
He said the anti-graft agency is serious when it comes to acting on complaints like the current case.
They investigated thoroughly, and thereafter submitted two dockets to the prosecutor general for a decision.
Noa emphasised that the ACC acts against any suspect implicated by evidence of corrupt activities, irrespective of status.
He issued a stern warning that these arrests should serve as a message to other public officials who indulge themselves in such dishonest actions of abusing public funds.
Noa reiterated that whoever is entrusted with public office and is involving themselves in activities, such as accepting bribes, is inviting the ACC to act against them.