John Muyamba Rundu The Rundu Town Council has been instructed by the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga, to continue with the private-public partnership (PPP) that will see 600 houses built at the town. The deal for Armstrong Construction to construct 600 houses at the town was signed in December 2015, long before the new council, which has been objecting to the PPP agreement, was sworn in. Those opposed to the deal in the new council claimed the PPP was not a good one, this despite the fact Armstrong Construction cc already installed services at the site where the 600 houses are to be developed. “Your Worship, I am writing to you to reiterate my support for the effective implementation of the Public Private Partnership between the Rundu Town Council and Armstrong Construction cc and further strengthening my stance as it was communicated earlier to you in the letter dated February 07, 2018,” the minister said in the letter he sent to Rundu Mayor Verna Sinimbo. New Era can confirm the letter was received by Sinimbo this week. On February 7, 2018, the then Urban and Rural Development Minister Sofia Shaningwa instructed by the council to continue with the project but the council did not listen to her directive and they went ahead and cancelled the PPP deal as they knew she was on her way out as minister. Mushelenga said: “It is however disturbing to learn that Council has defied a directive that was issued as a remedial measure and also opted to cancel the agreement despite the advice of the Attorney General during a meeting with Council, Armstrong and the ministry held on December 14, 2017, where Rundu Town Council was advised to iron out the differences and continue with the project.” They opted not to take the advice and cancelled the PPP agreement, which led Armstrong to take the matter to the High Court to sue the council for N$337 million for cancelling the PPP. Armstrong lodged its case with the High Court against the Rundu Town Council over the botched land deal on Friday, March 2. “The Council’s action has consequently put the ministry in legal and financial predicaments. In lieu of the above, I am hereby directing Council to adhere to my predecessor’s directive issued on February 07, 2018 and the advice of the Attorney General as per your meeting held on December 14, 2017,” said Mushelenga. “Furthermore, Council should retract your decision that cancelled the Agreement and resume the negotiations with your development partners in consultations with MURD,” he continued. “Yes we have received the letter and there is nothing that I can say at the moment as we will only sit tomorrow (Friday) as management of the council to decide on the letter. But you can speak to the mayor on that,” said Rundu Town Council’s chairperson of the management committee, Annastasia Antonio, when approached for comment on the issue.
2018-04-06 08:50:27 5 months ago