MISA not bankrupt – Zoe Titus

WINDHOEK: The MISA Regional Secretariat has sold its office building here at the end of last year for N.dollars 5,3 million, to cover for outstanding debts to the European Union (EU).

The Media Institute of Southern Africa Regional Director, Zoe Titus, confirmed to Nampa on Sunday that the move was upon the instruction of the MISA Trust Funds Board, who opted, in view of the magnitude of the debt, to let go of the building.

She could however not disclose the amount of the debt, but said the matter is still not fully resolved.

“We are, however, indebted to the EU, our sole creditor. We inherited this debt and have been working for approximately two years to find a solution to the problem. This matter is still not fully resolved and we expect to be engaging with the EU more on the issue in the coming months,” she stressed.

MISA made headlines in July last year, when media reports indicated that it owes millions of N.dollars to the EU. The EU head of delegation to Namibia Ambassador, Raúl Fuentes Milani, told a local daily newspaper that MISA and the Namibian Non-Governmental Organisation Forum (Nangof) Trust have agreed to repay “misused donor funds.”

He said during audits it was discovered that the two recipients have spent the money on things not covered by the agreement.

Titus however emphasised that it is a historical debt, which relates to a project implemented between April 2008 and March 2011, and therefore not incurred by the current management.

She said MISA was also during the time of the media reports still busy with an EU audit to confirm the final amount that it intended to claim from the secretariat.

MISA has contacted the EU headquarters in Brussels as part of its efforts to negotiate an agreement with the EU structures.

The MISA Regional Secretariat is also not bankrupt, according to Titus. She said the secretariat does not have outstanding debts to a range of donors. It works on a cash-basis and settles accounts upon receipt of a service.

MISA receive grants and not loans that require repayment, according to Titus.

Titus added that MISA will continue to operate from its current offices until December 2015. The MISA Trust Funds Board is yet to decide how, and from where, it wishes to operate its secretariat.