News and Information

3 more suspended over food scandal in Caprivi
April 3, 2006


THREE more people have been suspended without pay because of their alleged role in allowing tons of food aid to rot in a Katima Mulilo warehouse.

They include the Director of the Caprivi Regional Council, Robert Mapenzi, who was the acting Chief Regional Officer at the time the food was delivered and supposed to be distributed to people in need.

The other two suspended officials are Calvin Mukata and Dennis Situnda.

The two men are responsible for record keeping and food distribution within the Regional Emergency Management Unit.

Acting Chief Regional Officer Erica Ndiyepa yesterday confirmed the suspensions to The Namibian.

Ndiyepa said the council was now waiting for the Attorney General's Office to constitute the disciplinary committee.

The latest suspensions follow that of Chief Regional Officer Raymond Matiti in February, who is still awaiting a disciplinary hearing.

Before that, Caprivi Governor Bernard Sibalatani was suspended for a month on the instructions of Cabinet, to allow him to be charged for negligence.

He has since returned to office.

The Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development earlier said that any action against him would be based on the outcome of disciplinary proceedings against the other officials accused of negligence in the food scandal and on instructions from Cabinet.

Only one more official is still to be suspended on charges of alleged negligence by the Local Government Ministry.

He is Dobson Kamwi, an official working in the Ministry's Rural Development directorate at Katima Mulilo.

Ndiyepa said Kamwi would be the last on the list of officials the Caprivi Regional Council had agreed to take action against for allowing 230 tons of maize meal to rot at the M'pacha military warehouse.

The discovery was made nearly a year ago.

Ndiyepa could not say how long it would take before the accused are disciplined.

She said this depended on the establishment of a disciplinary panel by the Attorney General's office.

Ndiyepa said she believed some of the suspended officials had applied to the Public Service Commission to have their salaries reinstated while they awaited disciplinary action.

Matiti has already succeeded with such an application


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