Govt Lawyer Aises On NHE

THE Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development has been aised to strip the National Housing Enterprise of its role as the custodian of the mass housing project.

The Namibian understands that the Attorney General, Albert Kawana, aised that NHE should be relieved of its role to run the project and that the local government ministry should take over the N$2,9 billion project.

This will then make it difficult for contracts signed by the NHE to be binding on government.

A technical committee consisting of permanent secretaries in the Office of the President, Ministry of Finance, National Planning Commission and Ministry of Regional and Local Government Housing and Rural Development, tasked with aising local government minister Charles Namoloh on the project, was said to be in favour of Kawana’s recommendation that the NHE should be stripped of its mass housing mandate.

The committee, which met yesterday, was allegedly also considering cancelling some of the contracts whose award was considered suspicious.

Kawana said yesterday that he was in no position to comment on the nature of aice he offered his client and that it was up to the local government ministry to disclose the aice.

Although Namoloh denied that the mass housing project was put on hold, he, however, said he would announce such a decision just as he introduced the initiative.

There was no comment from NHE.

Business community sources also told The Namibian that Namoloh yesterday reassured contractors that the initiative had not been suspended as reported in the media. He allegedly told them that they should ignore media reports unless they receive communication from his office.

The minister was responding to reports in The Namibian yesterday that the N$2,9 billion project had been suspended. The report stated that NHE will be stripped of its responsibility as custodian of the project and that government took the sudden drastic steps after it became apparent that the process of awarding the construction contracts, under the NHE, was flawed.

The NHE has also been accused of ignoring government directives and side-stepping procedures.

Source : The Namibian