The special advisor to the late Kunene governor Angelika Muharukua asked the urban development ministry not to pay two companies that upgraded a road at Khorixas.
John Khamuseb told The Villager that he wrote to the ministry asking them not to pay because the work done was substandard.
The companies involved are the Kunene River Construction and Natus Trading cc that are owed N$7m between them.
Khamuseb told The Villager that the quality of the work done on the gravel road was sub-standard and that the companies used the council’s resources.
"I had to write a letter to the line ministry to freeze the funds so that we do a lap test on this road. We need qualified persons to do the quality assurance test and not a person from the town council,” he said.
He also said some council officials had been benefiting from tenders awarded in the town and that this is a long coming practice.
He said it was his duty to intervene because this has had a negative impact on the development of the town due to the corrupt practices of council officials.
“I am sure the road is not even 3.6km long. I drove with my car and recorded the distance.
“Even if it was 3.6 km, N$7m is too much. The people living in that area are complaining of the dust from the road. This is also one of the reasons I opted for the funds to be frozen, “he said.
The owner of Kunene River Construction, John Haraseb said that the town council officials and Khamuseb have hidden agendas and shy away whenever he enquires about the funds to be paid.
“We have completed what we have tendered for. We are not stupid, and we want to be paid. I know that they only plan to eat the money up.
“I have not paid my workers because we did not receive any payment from the council since November. Why do they even say that road is not worthy? If it was not worthy then why did they request the money for payment from the ministry? It is because they want to eat the money,” he said.
The Villager also contacted the Khorixas acting chief executive officer Ester Nanus who declined to speak on the matter.
“Please call me tomorrow during office hours. I cannot speak now I am busy. I cannot comment now,” she said.
Khorixas town’s public relations officer Ebben Xoagub confirmed to The Villager that the tender was awarded and that the town requested the funds from the ministry.
“But what happened is the special advisor to the governor John Khamuseb, and a local businessman Robert Coetzee used the opportunity when the governor passed on and used her office claiming that the road that was constructed is of substandard quality,” Xoagub said.
“Once these funds were frozen the company will demand interest if they are not paid on time, and the only person that will be held responsible for this is the mayor of the town. This is politics,” Xoagub told The Villager.
He said that it had not been proven that the gravel road is sub-standard. “We had qualified engineers that were part of the project. But what I can say is that there is tension between the mayor of the town and the special advisor,” he said.