Omaheke governor Pijoo Nganate has implored the regional political leaders to fix the region’s image, which he said has been of late in the news for all the wrong reasons. He described this as regrettable and damaging.
Nganate said this while addressing the region in his maiden state of the region address (SORA) that was hailed by many.
The region leadership recently came under fire after it was accused of having misappropriated nearly half of the N$14.7 million the region had received from the Office of the Prime Minister for the rehabilitation, installation and drilling of boreholes under the drought relief programme.
Similarly, a damaging report by the Gobabis Municipality CEO Ignatius Thudinyane last year revealed a can of worms at the municipality, including unfair salary grades. It revealed that executives and managers at the cash-strapped municipality received monthly salaries ranging between N$71 000 to N$91 000, despite some of them not meeting either educational requirements or the requisite work experience.
Gobabis is faced with many problems, including illegal land grabbing, land protests, filthiness of the town, many of its street lights not working, community petitions and marches, old and dilapidated road traffic signs, sprawling informal settlements with various social challenges, and a high unemployment rate due to lack of job creation initiatives.
“Our region and the town of Gobabis have been of late in the news for all the wrong reason, a state that is very regrettable and damaging,” Nganate said while addressing the region on Tuesday.
“These characteristics have now become synonymous with the Gobabis town and Omaheke region at large,” he added.
He said transparency and accountability are essential components of a democratic government and governance.
As a government, Nganate said, political leaders must use resources responsibly to provide services that meet the needs of the constituents.
“We must operate lawfully and ethically. Yes, there are positive, progressive or good things being done but aren’t told and we have ourselves to blame for that,” Nganate said.
“I am always of the opinion that if we do not tell our beautiful stories, other people will tell the same stories and portray them as ugly as possible,” he said.