Windhoek — Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Director Paulus Noa said yesterday that the corruption watchdog has not received any formal complaints on the much-publicised 'illegal installation' of an elevator at a state-owned guesthouse occupied by former Vice-President Nicky Iyambo.
Iyambo is currently occupying a state guesthouse that falls under the auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), situated in Windhoek's Eros suburb, Windhoek.
However, Noa, speaking to New Era yesterday, said the commission is assessing media reports to see whether there are grounds for the ACC to launch an investigation. "So far, we have not had a case registered pertaining the said elevator, we are assessing what we are only reading in newspapers to see whether there are grounds for us to intervene, subsequently launch an investigation," said Noa.
"We do not know whether that was done with authority or without," he responded when quizzed to shed light on the issue.
The presidency on Friday issued a strong worded statement saying that they had uncovered the illegal installation of an elevator at the guesthouse of the OPM.
Presidential Press Secretary Dr Alfredo Hengari said the installation was carried out without due authorisation and respect for procurement procedures.
He said President Hage Geingob mandated management in the Presidency, acting in close collaboration with the Secretary to Cabinet, Dr George Simataa and the Executive Director in the OPM, to do everything possible to identify the culprits and lay charges in accordance with applicable laws of the country.
"The scheme was uncovered after it came to light that certain officials had illegally authorized the installation of the elevator at a cost of N$999 000," Hengari said.
"No decision had been made to install any elevator at the guesthouse, "he said.
Shockingly, Hengari said the installation follows the parliamentary statement by the Minister in the Presidency Martin Andjaba, in which he informed the National Assembly that Iyambo was temporarily hosted at the guesthouse.
"Geingob has repeatedly instructed government officials to do more with less and not engage in frivolous or unauthorized spending of government resources," he said. Hengari said in light of the commitment of Geingob to cut down wastage of public resources, Andjaba, when previously asked by the media with regard to installation of the elevator at the guesthouse said, "There are no plans, and there will never be plans to do upgrades at the house".
Regrettably, he said unprincipled officials hastily and clandestinely installed the elevator two weeks later, between 1-8 April 2019, without consultation and prior knowledge of senior management in the Presidency.
"These actions, unauthorized, un-procedural and illegal seek to tarnish the commitment of Geingob to effective governance," he said.
"They are bound to fail. Irrespective of the underlying reasons and motivations of these individuals, their actions are clearly illegal as they were not authorized, nor did they follow the laid down mandatory procedures of procurement, which serve as checks and balances to prevent illegal, unauthorized expenditure," said Hengari in the statement. He said Geingob has directed a full-scale investigation, to be constituted by Simataa, assisted by officials in the Presidency.
Hengari said those implicated, whether in government or the private sector will be prosecuted accordingly, and made to pay for this illegal expenditure.