Several members of the National Council session on Wednesday appealed to the Finance Minister, Iipumbu Shiimi, for an increase in the budgetary appropriation of the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development(MURD) for regional councils to take care of their duties.
This comes after a one billion allocation to the MURD, which is also tasked with land development in the country. Paulus Mbangu, pointed out that the N$20 million sanitation budgetary allocation is not enough all 121 constituencies in the country adding that besides for the 572 toilets that have been completed so far, there is still a need to build more sanitations, particularly in rural areas.
“Let me give you a practical example. During rainy seasons when a person decides to go in the bush at night, they may use a stick, and in most cases it could have been an already used stick by another person since you cannot tell due to darkness. Mind you, it could be a snake for that matter”, Mbangu cautions.
The councilor says it cannot be right to have people with fully functional toilets, while some Namibians have to relieve themselves in the bush.
Mbangu adds that, “our people do not eat words or promises, and they need bread on their tables to feed their families”. The councilor is also demanding that the regional council budget be approved as soon as possible, while demanding that the long overdue regional and constituency fund the MURD has been promising, be tabled as soon as possible. Mbangu reminds fellow councilors that they have not been elected into positions to warm seats but to deliver on their promises and to serve their constituencies as it is mandated of them. Additionally, he wants incumbents to start being proactive in their positions in solving problems and finding other methods, especially the technocrats who at times are slow delivering services to the people. He adds that it is high time that systems to elevate this local authorities in the regions needs to be discharged funds accordingly and not reduce it.
Councilor Andreas Uutoni, says the regional council subsidies need to be increased, pointing out that the current budget allocation to the council is not enough due to the number of issues that require the body’s attention as well as the number of decentralised constituencies it has under its umbrella.
Uutoni further laments that regional councils has no way of funding themselves compared to town councils, emphasising that despite lack of money allocation, the regional councils have done exceptionally well in some regions. He also calls for project monitoring saying money allocated is sometimes misused by projects that end up not improving the livelihoods of the people, thus depriving constituencies of development. “Money should be utilised for what it is planned for and it should be used wisely”, Uutoni says.