3 December 2018

Namibia: Gochas Residents to March Against Graft

Residents of Gochas in the Hardap region plan to hold a protest march against poor service delivery and a host of other alleged corrupt practices soon.

A list of the residents' complaints seen by The Namibian indicated that they will also demand the immediate removal of the village council's management, whom they accused of being corrupt.

They claimed the council's chief executive officer, Willem Beukes, is not fit to hold that office.

"He (CEO) is 100% unproductive," they complained, adding that he was "incompetent" to run the office and to handle issues affecting the local community.

"Everything in this office has an agenda. There is no transparency," they charged.

The residents also accused some council staff of nepotism, alleging that all retail spaces at the local business park had been allocated to employees' relatives.

Also complaining about poor service delivery, they said overflowing sewers are the order of the day at the Auobplaat location, and that residents of the /Gomxab location have no access to potable water nor proper sanitation.

Skyrocketing erf prices ranging between N$7 500 and N$15 000 amid the high employment rate at the village also upset the residents.

"These erven are not even serviced," they charged.

The residents further alleged that the council is overcharging Build Together house loan holders as they are still paying off a N$33 000 loan over more than 30 years.

"The initial loan amount was N$17 000, but after the houses were completed, it accumulated to N$33 000," they complained.

The residents likewise expressed disappointment over discrepancies in municipal bills, saying a wife and husband would be billed separately for the same house.

Beukes yesterday said the allegations contained in the residents' list are baseless.

"I plan to take them on because of the unsubstantiated allegations they levelled against me," he countered.

According to him, he had passed on the residents' petition, which they handed over recently, to the councillors, telling them that they can respond to the "baseless allegations" if they wished.

"I have decided not to respond to unfounded allegations," he stated.

Hitting back about the allegations that he is incompetent to run the council's affairs, Beukes remarked: "Our village council has 'clean' bills with the water and electricity bulk suppliers".

"If I am incompetent as they claim, how come we have clean bills?", he asked.

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