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Walvis forensic report not for public consumption

2021-09-13  Eveline de Klerk

Walvis forensic report not for public consumption
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WALVIS BAY - The much-awaited forensic report on the alleged irregularities linked to the Massive Urban Land Servicing project at Walvis Bay was not prepared with public consumption in mind.

This was revealed last week by the Walvis Bay municipal council during a press briefing at the town.

Council, who had paid more than N$600 000 for the 200-page report, has been put under pressure by the media and residents to have the report released as they promised.

However, Walvis Bay mayor Trevino Forbes on Thursday said that PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) did not agree to have the report released as it is still the property of PWC and cannot be released to a third party unless requested directly from them.

“Their reservation is due to the fact that their report was not prepared with publication in mind. They are also concerned that releasing the report will extend the duty of care to the wider public, or at least create an expectation that PWC owes a duty to the public at large. They are further concerned that it may prejudice the investigation and further actions required,” Forbes said. He added that PWC, upon completion of the audit report stated that it has been prepared solely for use by the municipality and as such, it should not be disclosed to any other party without their consent, which they may, at their discretion, withhold or give subject to conditions. 

The mayor further explained that they were advised to rather summarise the report and release it to the media.

Despite the setback, Forbes said the council will use the report as a guiding tool to determine who benefited from the project and if the necessary procedures were followed. 

“The report does not refer to individuals that may have benefited, neither does it implicate any official, but rather to processes within the project. 

It is, therefore, premature to determine whether there are such individuals who may have benefited in one way or another during the project. The recommendations of PWC also include a broader scope of investigation into the administrative process in some of the properties,” he said.

Chairperson of the management committee, Leroy Victor also said they would now contract an external human resource specialist as well as a legal expert to analyse the document and see if anyone has to be held accountable for any administrative errors.

PWC was contracted earlier this year to carry out an investigation after irregularities were reported in the construction and selling of houses through the Massive Urban Land Servicing project at Walvis Bay. Over 900 houses were built through the project.

Council then went on and suspended its CEO Muronga Haingura, manager for community affairs Agostinho Victor, general manager for housing Jack Manale, and property clerk Connie Summers. However, their suspensions were lifted and have reported for duty last week.

Efforts to get a comment from PWC were unsuccessful.

2021-09-13  Eveline de Klerk

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