Friday 23 April 2021
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Muharukua blocks Otjindjerese graft probe

WINDHOEK, 08 March 2012 – Gender Equality and Child Welafre Deputy Minister Minister Angelika Muharukua moves the vote of thanks during the Commemoration of International Women’s Day that coincides with the launch of the National Gender Policy 2010-2020. The event was held at Safari Hotel. (Photo by: Joseph Nekaya) NAMPA

Kunene governor Angelika Muharukua has blocked attempts by the residents of Otjindjerese to investigate and recoup anything between N$150 000 and N$300 000 that was withdrawn from a community trust by traditional leaders in a bid to preserve unity in the region.
According to a source privy to a meeting that held at Ohingaipuire, about 40 kilometres east of regional capital Opuwo last week, Muharukua colluded with the Tjondu Traditional Authority, one of the three authorities in Otjindjerese to “write-off” all unpaid sums in which key traditional leaders are implicated.
A write-off is an accounting term referring to an action whereby the book value of an asset is declared to be 0.
There are three traditional authorities in the Otjindjerese designated area, namely: Tjondu Traditional Authority, Mumbuu Traditional Authority and Mupya Traditional Authority.
When approached by this publication, Muharukua refused to be drawn into the Otjindjerese corruption saga saying she would “not comment”.
However, the governor maintained that she acted in good faith to maintain unity in the said community.
Pressed on whether or not she had pushed for the funds to be written off, Muharukua replied: “I don’t have an answer to that and I will not comment. I know how many people attended the meeting and I know who is behind all of this.
“I am not a person who is against people coming together (unity) and my presence at that meeting is not a joke. And to use money from your own pocket to make sure that a meeting takes place is not an easy thing. It doesn’t mean that if you are a governor, you cannot separate what is constructive and what is not constructive to the region,” the governor vaguely stated.
She added: “I said let us not do[investigate] things that will not bring about peace in the community. And if there is disunity among some of you, that is not what I will follow.”
According to Muharukua, a probe into the Otjindjerese fund will trigger disunity within the community, something she strongly stands opposed to.
“For people who want to bring unity, this thing will only bring about disunity among the people and therefore the money should be written off and we should begin a new chapter. I was saying, the money does not belong to the people. And the money was already eaten[spent]. And my word was, the reason why people had to go and borrow was because they didn’t have their own money. If they had their own money, they would not have borrowed. That’s what I said,” Muharukua narrated her stance during the purported meeting.
Furthermore, Ngaundue Tjondu of the Tjondu Traditional Authority is in support of the decision to write off the accumulated debts as some recipients were deceased while others can no longer repay.
“Due to the fact that there is money that ought to have been deposited into the community account for six months and wasn’t; there is money that was borrowed by some people who are dead and some who are alive but are no longer capable of repaying, therefore the meeting arrived at a consensus that the money be written off to avoid unnecessary conflict,” explained Tjondu.
On the opposing end, a senior leader in Otjindjerese said the governor’s reluctance to allow the community to probe and recover the borrowed money will only fuel “distrust, disunity and promote corruption in the area”.
“How will probing community funds, from individuals who are known and got money on condition that they would repay trigger divisions? The individuals are yet to give reasons as to why they haven’t paid back nor have they denied receiving it. So how do you as governor decide to write the money off?” the leader bemoaned.
The leader added: “We are off the view that investigating what is ours in a bid to reinvest it back into the community will divide us. What will divide the people is her[Muharukua’s] involvement and her attempt bulldoze things at her own will. These are mainly leaders who are implicated. Is the governor saying that asking our leaders to repay what they took is tantamount to disrupting peace and unity? That cannot be.”
When approached for comment, Rarirevi Mupya who spoke on behalf of the Mupya Traditional Authority was said “money borrowed in someone’s personal capacity cannot be written off”.
“Money that was borrowed by people cannot be written off except for that which was intended for community projects. These individuals are known and they should repay the money,” charged Mupya.
Mupya was quick to note that should the funds are written off – it will created a precedence whereby community members borrow money from the trust and refuse to pay back in the future.
“There will always be money in Otjindjerese. So, for the money that will be borrowed in the future, will that also be written off in an event that people refuse to repay?” he queried.

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