Debt-collecting agency RedForce has reacted to the allegation made by the Katutura Residents’ Committee that the company has been hired by the City of Windhoek in a money-making plot.
This allegation was made in a petition read by committee spokesperson Shaun Gariseb on 8 September when the committee held a demonstration at the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development’s head office in Windhoek.
The committee appealed to minister Erastus Uutoni to remove the City of Windhoek’s leadership, as residents have no confidence in them.
“The city’s sole focus is only on monetary gain, without considering the circumstances of the residents . . .” Gariseb said again during a press conference the Katutura Residents’ Committee held on Tuesday.
RedForce Debt Management’s deputy chief executive and legal adviser, Margaret Malambo, however, says the agency’s appointment was based on due procurement processes which comply with the Public Procurement Act.
She says the allegation that the City of Windhoek is protecting the agency is baseless.
“We strive to be fair and clear, and endeavour to always establish two-way communication,” Malambo says.
She highlights the existence of a binding legal contract between RedForce and the City of Windhoek.
The agency is willing to engage Katutura’s residents in dialogue, Malambo says.
“We have not been approached by the Katutura residents to engage in any discussions. We, however, believe that the briefing by our client adequately addressed all their concerns,” she says.
Gariseb on Tuesday accused the City of Windhoek of deliberately shielding RedForce from accountability by failing to address the committee’s recommendations.
“The City of Windhoek is not honest about many things, they are misinterpreting their own laws and they are deliberately omitting certain things.
“All this because if they adopt everything [resolutions brought forward by the committee] there would be no need for RedForce,” Gariseb said.
City of Windhoek spokesperson Harold Akwenye this week said the city is protecting residents against accumulating debts.
“We are protecting the residents from their own defaulting . . . If we leave it, it’s going to escalate,” Akwenye said.
He added that pensioners’ accounts are not handed over to RedForce, neither are they charged interest on their accounts.