CoW denies financial crisis

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Contrary to recent reports suggesting financial turmoil within the City of Windhoek (CoW), Chief Executive Officer, Moses Matyayi has denied any claims of the city being broke.

This comes after Auditor General (AG) Junias Kandjeke, in the city’s financial audit report for the 2020/2021 financial year, reported that the Windhoek Municipality does not have a plan on how it is going to turn around the commercial insolvency and the deficit-making position in the foreseeable future.

The report was compiled in September 2023.

“The financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Municipality of Windhoek as of 30 June 2021, and its financial performance and its cash flows for the year then ended,” he states in the city’s audit report for the 2020/2021 financial year,” Kandjeke said in the report.

Dismissing the claims of insolvency, Matyayi clarified, “While we faced challenges with current liabilities exceeding current assets as of June 2021, we have successfully settled arrears and remain in active engagement with the government for the resolution of the N$700 million on-lending loan.”

Matyayi, addressing concerns raised by the Auditor General, provided crucial insights into the City’s financial position and assured stakeholders of the ongoing commitment to a financially sustainable future.

As of 30 June 2021, the municipality’s current liabilities of N$1.9 billion exceeded its current assets of N$942.56 million.

The municipality also incurred a deficit of N$482.25 million in 2020.

In addition, Matyayi acknowledged the historical challenges highlighted in the audit report but underscored the positive shift from a Disclaimer Audit Opinion to a Qualified Audit Opinion, signifying improved financial reporting.

“Therefore, moving from a Disclaimer Audit Opinion to a Qualified Audit Opinion represents significant progress in financial reporting for the City of Windhoek.

These results are an indication that the organisation has been occupied with addressing previous operational uncertainties and financial deficiencies, which has now resulted in improved transparency and reliability of the financial statements to date,” he said.

Urging community involvement, Matyayi emphasised that the city is actively seeking volunteers to overcome challenges and contribute to the city’s progress.

Addressing concerns over the housing fund, the CEO explained the recent reclassification to align with fund accounting requirements. Stressing the City’s commitment to transparency and accountability in its operations.

He further highlighted the adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards, while also acknowledging past disagreements with the Auditor General over-reporting methods but reassured that consensus has been reached, and adjustments have been implemented from 2022 onwards.

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