20 July 2012

Namibia: Man Goes On Anti-Graft Kalkrand to Windhoek Walk

KALKRAND resident James Hansen has decided to take up his wooden cross, two packets of donated Tennis biscuits and energy drinks, and set off on a long walk from Kalkrand to Windhoek to register his dismay at alleged corruption at the village council.

Hansen was expected to set out on his 200-kilometre journey on foot this morning.

"I want to take this matter to the ultimate level," said Hansen yesterday. "I represent an impoverished community and I want to make the point that it is only the government of God that will stand the test of time."

On him, he carries letters to Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Jerry Ekandjo, and President Hifikepunye Pohamba, containing his grievances.

"Enough is enough," Hansen told The Namibian yesterday.

Hansen and other Kalkrand residents held a demonstration at the village council in June during which he read a petition signed by the residents while sitting on the back of a donkey.

This time around, he said, he wants to bring the matter straight to the corridors of power in Windhoek.

Disgruntlement at the village continues since the suspension of village council CEO Neville Smith and administrative accountant Annemarie van Rooi last year.

The suspension of the two are blamed on Swapo Party councillors Adriaan 'Adidas' Beukes, Emily van Staaden and Christine //Garoës, who outvoted Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) councillors Rebekka van Staaden and Hermien van Wyk.

It came after Smith reported a matter to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) which involved a N$68 000 cheque used to buy sewage pipes from Fordes Investments at Mariental.

The cheque was allegedly taken from the village council to Mariental as a blank cheque by human resources officer Marthinus Nainkavara and Beukes at the request of technical foreman Kornelius Mbangula.

The purchase of the pipes was allegedly done without the knowledge of Smith and bought at Fordes Investment, with which the council does not have a supply tender.

It could not be established from the ACC how far this matter has been investigated.

In the meantime, administrative officer Van Rooi, who appeared before a disciplinary hearing last Saturday, was cleared of all allegations of misconduct.

CEO Smith is to appear before a disciplinary hearing at Rehoboth today.

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