Frans Van Der Westhuizen, junior minister Assistant at Local Government and Rural Development has challenged the North West District Coucillors to use their purchasing power to help grow the local economy.
“All you need is a strong leadership. It’s all in your power through your committees to do such. You need to exercise your powers to manage this council. We can’t be expected to intervene even on issues which you can handle locally. Really there is little we can do as a ministry. Mind you, we have delegated powers to you, and yet there are more disappointments than credits on your part. You are not appreciative and therefore you make it more difficult for us as well”.
Addressing a full council meeting last week, Westhuizen said that there has been much laxity in most councils, thus purposely allowing contractors to underperform and cause projects to fail at a great cost to government.
“I have personally come to the realization that because of poor monitoring of projects by yourselves, you have disbursed funds for poor work. This has become a trend now and it is bleeding the government’s purse. Because you don’t pay attention to advice and always prefer do things your own way, your council and others across the country have landed in courts with contractors, but it is always the latter who win cases against you in most occasions. This is evident enough that you are not doing things the right way”.
Meanwhile the NWD councilors complained about the many developmental projects which have either been put on hold or have been abandoned in the Okavango sub district particularly. The raised concern also regarding the appointments of consultants from outside the district while there are a lot more capacitated people in the North West.
“We are also well aware that all developments are now routed to Shakawe.We see this as a premeditated campaign strategy for the incumbent Member of Parliament of the area by the BDP government. We are being robbed here and this must come to an end sooner than later”, said Coucililor Mpoke Karapo of Gumare south.
Specially elected Councilor Reaboka Mbulawa lamented that as council they still does not have competent project risk managers, hence the many unnecessary mistakes. “We should be seen as an independent entity that speaks for itself. But as it stands now we are not down to business. We are not competent in managing, and I believe the time has come for us to admit our failures and seek urgent help”.