The Agricultural Business Development Agency (Agribusdev) board yesterday suspended its managing director Petrus Uugwanga with immediate effect to allow for smooth investigations.
The company is tasked with managing and supervising the green scheme projects across the country.
Board chair Sophia Kasheeta confirmed the suspension of Uugwanga, who has been with the agency since 2013, for three months. “Yes, I can confirm that the board has taken a decision to suspend Uugwanga. You know over the past few months or a year or so a lot has been said about the agency, so we are trying to establish whether allegations of maladministration which is being levelled against him is true or not, hence the suspension,” Kasheeta told New Era yesterday. Uugwanga also confirmed his suspension to New Era. Over the past few years the agency has been struggling to pay suppliers and the salaries of its around 130 workers. The agency is also said to owe South African company, Kynoch close to N$20 million. Last week, Nampa quoted Uugwanga as saying that the agency cannot pay workers’ overdue salaries at green schemes countrywide, saying that the circumstances do not only negatively impact green schemes, but also the agriculture industry in general. Agribusdev manages the 11 green schemes and has been according to media reports underfunded for the last five years, leading to work at most projects screeching to a halt. The agriculture ministry late last year announced that it would lease out seven of its 11 green schemes to the private sector after failing to sustain operations. According to media reports, the agency received N$90 million between the 2014/15 and 2018/19 budget years.