RUNDU - Agribusdev Managing Director Petrus Uugwanga says the agency is struggling to pay its employees at various green scheme projects due to lack of funds at the state-owned entity.
Employees at some green schemes, who receive their salaries on the 25th of every month, had still not received their May salaries as of yesterday.
The company has 336 employees and as of yesterday, those stationed at the head office and the green schemes at Sikondo, Ndonga Linena, Shadikongoro, Kalimbeza and Agricutural Technology Centre in Rundu were not paid.
Only employees at Orange River Irrigation Project (Orip), Hardap, Uvhungu-Vhungu and Etunda irrigation schemes are paid.
“We are broke, we don’t have enough money to run our pay-roll for the month of May, we have a shortfall and we have not received any support from our central government budget,” he told New Era, frankly.
“I don’t know how I say it but our budget for this year is zero, central government did not budget for us. I don’t know why Agribusdev, which is in charge of food production, was not budgeted for while other government agencies were budgeted for. We are productive, if you look at our figures since we started. We are progressing,” said Uugwanga.
Agribusdev has been in business for three years.
“We spoke to our line ministry and they are looking into ways on how they can assist us, but its taking time,” he said.
“I’m constantly in touch with the executive director’s office and we are trying to find a way to solve this as the ministry is highly aware of this situation,” he continued.
“We have to pay salaries and that shortfall that I always talk about came in 2017 when our projects were hit by the Fallarmy warms. We lost a lot, it’s like you just opened a shop and your stock gets stolen,” he said.
“You see, if you are in the production circle and you have that shortfall even when you enter the next year, you will have that shortfall and it will remain until you put the land on full production, but if you are just putting a small portion of land under production due to lack of funds, that will not clear out.”
“We have done well in our fields and we will be harvesting in a month but for now we will have to brace ourselves,” Uugwanga said.
Agribusdev staff are now in troube with their debit orders and unpaid bills, some said.
“We have households to take care of, our children go to school and they also have needs but as a parent, I rely on my salary to meet those obligations. Almost every month our salaries are delayed,” said an employee who preferred to be anonymous.
Just last month, Agribusdev projects in both the Kavango and Zambezi regions - including Sikondo, Shandikongoro, Musese Small Scale, Uhvungu-Vhungu, Ndonga Linena and Kalimbeza had their electricity disconnected due to non-payments.
Government, in an attempt to restore full production at the five green schemes, promptly intervened to settle about N$3 million owed by these farms to the Northern Regions Electricity Distributor (Nored).
2019-06-05 09:39:09 | 6 months ago