SOEs must be monitored closely: Kazenambo

WINDHOEK: SWAPO-Party Member of Parliament (MP) Kazenambo Kazenambo says State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) should be monitored closely, and held accountable for all their programmes.

He made this suggestion on Thursday during the debate on the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM)’s budget allocation for the 2014/15 financial year.

“Government must intervene and fully monitor those companies, because millions are pumped into them and those colleagues just sit in their offices and drive cars carelessly, and it’s ministers who have to come and defend them here in Parliament,” Kazenambo charged.

The OPM has allocated N.dollars 12 627 000 to the governance and performance monitoring of SOEs, aimed at promoting good governance and practices, as well as developing policies and regulatory frameworks for SOEs.

Kazenambo stated that a lot of money is pumped into such institutions, but there are a number who “mess up”.

“Because of someone who is not accountable and messing-up with millions in those companies, we come here and defend them. We must put a stop to this. Let us define these entities as business entities, and let us justify their business viability,” he stressed.

He furthermore called on his fellow parliamentarians to ensure that the money spent on SOEs is utilised properly.

“We have people living in shacks and eating from dustbins, while you have companies which are gambling around with money. This should stop,” he said, adding that funds spent on SOEs is taxpayers’ money and “has nothing to do with a minister, party or individual in Parliament”.

He is not suggesting companies should be closed down, but that some of their activities need to be closely looked at, Kazenambo added, noting that some of the activities which SOEs engage in are not justifiable from a business point of view.

“There is no one in this country who is more patriotic than the other, so let us call a spade a spade. These companies must be brought to account, and their programmes must be monitored,” he reiterated.