Gobabis municipality CEO Ignatius Thudinyane has called on the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to conduct a thorough forensic audit at the local authority, which he describes as “rotten”.
Thudinyane, who late last year revealed a paradise of perks of five executives at the municipality that were earning salaries ranging between N$71 000 and N$91 000 a month, made this call in a letter addressed to the municipality’s management council committee chairperson, Anna Kawana, and copied to the Omaheke regional governor Pijoo Nganate and urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni.
“I want the ministry to do a forensic audit into the recruitment and appointment of all senior personnel, allocation and execution of capital projects, appointment of private contractors, negotiations and entering into service agreements with third parties, audit trail financial transactions between councillors, council employees and appointed consultants and contractors, governance and risk,” said Thudinyane in a nine-page open letter.
In the letter, Thudinyane informed Uutoni and Nganate that he has become a victim of harassment and discrimination allegedly by the council management committee after he exposed a number of irregularities upon his arrival at the council about two years ago.
“When I assumed duty, I found the whole town of Gobabis in a filthy state while council spent some fortune paying for cleaning services. When I demanded to see the cleaning contract entered into with a private company, I discovered that council had paid more than N$1.3 million per year to a company with no signed agreement in place,” said Thudinyane, adding that it is that discovery that has made him unpopular among councillors.
“On a daily basis, I experienced long queues of customers who insisted to see me in order to air their grievances and seek solutions to problems, which for many years could not be resolved or attended to. Customers simply refuse to be referred to relevant senior officials who should deal with their problems, and that problem still persists today.”
Thudinyane also called the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for it to look into the affairs of the municipality, saying there are enough damaging and suspicious goings-on at the municipality that warrant urgent investigation and intervention.
“These are the types of activities at the municipality that are spoiling the name of Swapo party and by extension the reputation of President Hage Geingob. I refused to sit quietly and align myself with what is wrong. I will rather resign than succumb to injustice,” he vowed.
Instead of supporting his efforts, Thudinyane said, there is a clear collusive network of friends and associates instigated and led by the highest office in the council and involving some strategic executives and senior staff who have organised themselves to gang up against him.
“If I discipline and penalise certain employees the situation is exacerbated by the fact that some management council members and senior staff are in collusion to destabilise and render my office powerless,” he said.
He also accused the management council committee of endorsing decisions that are not in the interest of the municipality and the residents of the town.
Thudinyane claimed that when he arrived at the local authority, he found an institution inundated with all sorts of disputes and accusations by private contractors who were contracted to execute capital projects on behalf of council. “There must be something patently wrong for a municipality to receive so many disputes of unpaid money or money short paid by council during the years 2015, 2016 and 2017,” he said.
Kawana yesterday declined to comment, referring all questions related to Thudinyane’s complaints to line minister Uutoni. Uutoni’s phone yesterday went unanswered at the time of going to print.