Auditor-General mum on August 26 forensic audit report

Stefanus Nashama

The Office of the Auditor-General remains mum on the forensic audit report of August 26.

The audit of the state-owned company started in 2021, following claims that the company failed to account for public funds.

Criticism raised by members of the public and opposition parties requested the Office of the Auditor-General to provide the forensic audit report.

The spokesperson in the Office of the Auditor-General, Christell Nassauw, did not respond to questions on when the report will be released.

“Your questions have been received and forwarded to the information bearers of the questions of which the technical team has prepared answers and forwarded the responses to the AG,” she said

The Auditor-General Junias Kandjeke, according to Nassauw, has acknowledged the receipt of the proposed answers on 26 March, and his office is expected to provide the final response soon.

“We are awaiting his office to give us the final response,” she responded.

August 26 Holdings is fully owned by the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs on behalf of the government.

The leader of the official opposition, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), McHenry Venaani, has been calling for the auditing of August 26’s books since 2018.

He claims that the company has failed to account for public funds since its inception.

Venaani has made numerous calls to have the state-owned company’s books audited, including calling on the office of the Ombudsman to render a legal opinion

Last year, Venaani wrote letters to the Auditor-General and President Hage Geingob, calling for the auditing of August 26’s books.

He also questioned the status of the forensic audit report and expressed disappointment with the prolonged delay in the publication of the forensic audit report.

He believes that the report has been completed and is in the possession of the Office of the Auditor-General.

The politician has emphasised that August 26 and its subsidiaries have failed to account for public funds despite being recipients of multimillion-dollar government contracts.

He has called for the company to be audited like any other public enterprise that relies on taxpayer’s money, adding that lack of accountability raises serious questions about the commitment to accountability within the Namibian government’s structures.

Venaani has since urged the Auditor-General’s office to publish the report before 11 April this year, saying failure to do so will leave him with no choice but to approach the Anti-Corruption Commission to intervene.

He believes the Namibian public deserves to be informed about how taxpayer dollars are spent within the August 26 Holding Company.

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