WINDHOEK – Works and Transport Minister John Mutorwa has blamed the Office of the Attorney General for taking too long in solving cases of illegal occupation of government flats, which he described as a thorny issue that needs to be resolved as soon as possible.
Mutorwa, motivating his ministry’s department of works budget in the National Assembly on Monday, said the Office of the Attorney General takes long to resolve cases which makes illegal occupation persist.
“Illegal occupation of government flats still remains a thorny issue despite the fact that court eviction orders are issued every now and then, and has to be resolved as soon as possible by the Office of the Attorney General,” he said.
Government officials housed in government flats across the country have in the past been accused of profiting from renting out or subletting such residences for commercial gain.
Also, some occupants have in the past been accused of conducting private businesses such as selling sweets, Nik-Naks chips, ice cream and in some cases alcohol from the premises.
Government flats fall under the ministry’s department of works, provision of office accommodation, which received an amount of N$188 million from Treasury this financial year.
He said the purpose of the programme is among others to assess office accommodation requirements of all line ministries; purchase building, land or rent office spaces on behalf of all government institutions, and allocate them to the line ministries.
He further added that the purpose of the programme is to settle all rental payments on behalf of all offices/ministries/agencies (O/M/As) timeously and accurately, and settle all rates and taxes payments on behalf of the government timeously and accurately.
Mutorwa says the main activities under the programme are, among others, rendering property management services (office accommodation) to all O/M/As and acquiring land and distribution of land to O/M/As for official use.
Highlighting the department’s achievements to date, Mutorwa said the department has managed to register state properties at the deeds office under government, and also the department, and has started with the physical verification of government’s fixed assets.
However, Mutorwa said the division experiences a severe shortfall of funds to honour contractual commitments with regard to the leasing of office accommodation on behalf of O/M/As, and rates and taxes.
2019-05-09 09:14:11 5 months ago