Economic situation worsened by mismanagement – Haufiku

Nkurenkuru-It is not only the lack of money that has negatively impacted the completion and renovation of health centres and clinics around the country. The other problem is the squandering of money, with contractors getting paid for work not completed.

Funds have been squandered we were building the Rundu maternity ward, halfway abandoned; we were building a clinic at Sesfontein in Kunene, a clinic at Epupa, TB ward at Keetmanshoop hospital � all of these have been abandoned, said health minister Dr Bernhard Haufiku.

The construction of Okahao hospital in Omusati N$15 million paid to a contractor and they proudly walked away and I'm hearing nothing. I keep on asking when am I going to hear this person in court for squandering resources of the state? When am I going to hear that? Of course the ministry of health hasn't got that power to arrest. I would have done it ten times already, you know me but unfortunately we haven't got the power.

Haufiku was responding to a question by Kavango West Governor Sirkka Ausikku on why there is a considerable delay in the construction of Nkurenkuru district hospital.

He said the ministry currently has no money to complete the construction of required health infrastructure, including the construction of the district hospital.

Haufiku also noted that the construction of health infrastructure does not fall under the health ministry's supervision but the ministry of works.

Of course, it is under the same government. I am not trying to duck responsibility but the direct responsibility of all government infrastructure is the ministry of works and apparently they are the ones to sue these guys and their companies. I really want to see it happening because it will continue to happen unless somebody is used as an example to show that we are now serious � that's what it is, he said.

Local and regional government can join in that I will fully support it. You know what I did in my ministry when I detected some irregular awarding of contracts. I immediately called in the ACC. You heard what happened in the ministry of health at high level and I don't want to divulge much on that because the case will be used against me; because it was even reported that I am part of the deal that make business in the ministry of health, he said.

I never make business in this ministry in fact I'm losing a lot of money. I was a successful private practitioner making money and I'm losing, you know, so that is where we are, he continued.

Haufiku said that although the health ministry's roadmap indicates that the country is supposed to have various district hospitals, the truth of the matter is that the ministry does not have money to make that plan a reality. The hospitals were to be at Ondangwa, Nkurenkuru, Rosh Pinah, Otjiwarongo and Windhoek.

At the moment this ministry I am leading is critically short of money. I'm hearing some statements that the worst is over but for this ministry the worst is not over � we're just getting there, Haufiku said.

If you give me the required funds, I think I will do wonders as I got a lot of plans in my mind. Every minute I have an idea how to improve health but I am severely constrained by money.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia