Omusati toilet saga still under investigationBy: CATHERINE SASMAN
THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been unable over the past two years to crack the investigation into the multimillion-dollar pit latrine construction scam in the Omusati Region.
The ACC started the probe into the construction of 60 toilets at a cost of N$20 million in 2010.
The Office of the Prosecutor General on two occasions sent back the docket of the probe to the ACC for further investigation. The last time the docket was send back was last month. Yesterday, Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa said the docket received in June yet again did not comply with the PG’s instructions.
“There are still statements outstanding which I think are crucial to this case,” Imalwa said.
The matter of the toilets emerged in 2008 when the Omusati Regional Council within three months spent N$20 million on the construction of 60 toilet blocks with 358 seats.
The Omusati Region was one of the four regions identified by the National Planning Commission for the provision of toilets, because 75 per cent of households in these regions had no access to toilets.
Some of the pit latrines constructed in the Omusati Region cost up to N$750 000, it was reported.
At the time the revelations were made about the cost of the pit latrines, the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Jerry Ekandjo, was reportedly incensed that a 12-seat pit latrine could cost up to N$750 000, while a two-bedroom house with a flush toilet, kitchen and lounge in Outapi would cost about N$176 000.
One of the toilets constructed by the Omusati Regional Council reportedly cost a whopping N$121 000, while in other regions – Oshana, Ohangwena, Kavango, and Caprivi – which formed part of a pilot project to address sanitation needs, it was calculated to have cost in the region of N$10 000 to N$12 000.
It was also alleged that the Omusati Regional Council’s director of regional planning, Abisai Shaningwa, had pocketed close to N$1,5 million from Government to build 27 toilets through his company called Four Solution Investment.
ACC director Paulus Noa this week referred The Namibian to the PG’s office on this matter.
Noa had said in November 2010 already that the investigation into the Omusati toilet saga was at an advanced stage.
Imalwa yesterday could not say when the investigation would be finalised.
“It depends on the ACC,” Imalwa said.