Namibia: Oshikoto Grounds Vehicles Due to Fuel Shortages

THE Oshikoto Regional Council has grounded all vehicles allocated to the council and constituency offices due to an acute shortage of fuel and limited resources.

According to a circular issued last Wednesday by the chief regional officer, Frans Enkali, the Oshikoto Regional Council fuel vote 023 for 2019/2020 financial year is depleted, and it is in a deficit.

Therefore, all vehicles are grounded and transport authorisations will no longer be issued for the rest of the financial year.

Enkali noted in an interview with The Namibian, that the regional council has embarked on a control mechanism hence the grounding of the vehicles.

"The vehicles will only be utilised where it is necessary in order to institute a control mechanism. The vehicles will only be utilised in emergency and critical times with the authorisation of the transport officers.

We want to avoid unnecessary spending as well as abuse of state resources as much as we can," he said.

He said the directive is already being implemented and it will last until the end of the financial year in March.

Enkali further stated that the vehicles allocated at constituency offices will only be utilised in emergency situations or when a need arises after seeking for authorisation from the regional council.

"We receive a monthly allowance for fuel but sometimes it is not enough and we often end up overspending it and we are left with nothing. We then decided to come up with a control mechanism to save our fuel vote and avoid overspending. However, we will still have some vehicles running on a minimal basis," he said. There are 10 constituency offices in Oshikoto region and each constituency office is allocated two vehicles in order to run the day to day activities of the constituency office.

Enkali could, however, not reveal the total number of vehicles allocated to the regional council neither how much the regional council spends per month on fuel.

Despite the grounding of all vehicles, the regional council has given an exception to two vehicles to be used to take out skipper bins and deposit revenue collected and water billing as well as head office vehicles with registration numbers GRN 80584, GRN 80964 and GRN 81503 temporary allocated to the Office of the Prime Minister for drought relief distribution.

One vehicle allocated to the chairperson of Oshikoto Regional Council with registration number GRN 81681 and another vehicle allocated to a Cuban consultant will also not be grounded or issued a trip authority.

Enkali urged all staff members to start the vehicles twice per week in order to keep the batteries charged.

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