Roads Authority still owes millionsBy: DENVER KISTING
BY yesterday afternoon, the Roads Authority (RA) still owed N$5,6 million to Mavinga Trading Enterprise – a business appointed to restore flood-damaged roads in northern Namibia.
This comes despite an undertaking by the RA to pay up by the close of business yesterday.
The amount is the remainder of a N$14 million debt that has been outstanding since June this year.
In a letter to RA acting chief executive officer Conrad Lutombi, Mavinga Trading Enterprise’s lawyer, Richard Metcalfe, wrote that “notwithstanding numerous undertakings by you to effect the remaining payment of N$5 625 408,46, this has simply not occurred to date. As you admittedly realise, this is causing havoc amongst our clients’ creditors.”
Also affected are the salaries of the 97 Mavinga Trading employees, Metcalfe said. “Such workers have requested to be taken to the Roads Authority’s headquarters in Windhoek in order to hear from the Roads Authority why they are waiting for salaries when money is due and owing to their employer, Mavinga Trading Enterprise CC, for work which they completed.”
Although the close corporation’s owner “is loath to bring the workers to Windhoek to Roads Authority offices, [he] will have no option if he is unable to pay his employees or give them a definite date for payment,” Metcalfe charged.
This week, Lutombi replied to Metcalfe, saying that they would pay up by the end of yesterday but the payment was not made.
Lutombi said that the RA was currently waiting for a payment of approximately N$30 million from Government to settle all its outstanding debts.
“We would therefore advise that your client pends any action to bring his employees to the Roads Authority offices. Our opinion is that we are not answerable to your client’s employees as we do not have a contract with them and will thus not be able to entertain direct communication with them. Should your client want an audience with the Roads Authority, he is welcome to engage my office,” Lutombi wrote.
Yesterday afternoon, Hileni Fillemon, the RA’s spokesperson, said that they were “in the process of settling all the invoices” after receiving the money from Government.