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The Minister of Urban and Rural Development has reaffirmed his commitment to addressing audit and debt management challenges within regional and local authority councils.

This statement comes in response to queries posed by Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) MP Inna Hengari, who sought explanations about the Omaheke Regional Council and Gobabis Municipality audit reports.

"How is the Ministry intervening to establish robust controls, prevent further financial losses, and ensure the Municipal Council maintains the integrity of its financial statements? What measures has the Ministry employed to facilitate the implementation of recommendations by the Auditor General, particularly those aimed at enhancing service delivery and accelerating development?"

Although the minister indicated that the questions were not very clear, he articulated that the Ministry has instituted specialised divisions and sub-divisions to enforce good governance at the regional and local authority council levels.

"Our Ministry stands resolute in its mission to guarantee that the issues of financial accountability, governance, and the integrity of public resources receive the utmost attention. We've established dedicated divisions to scrutinize regional and local authorities, and we're actively working to breathe life into audit recommendations, ensuring that maladministration is addressed and rectified."

The minister stated a comprehensive audit of the Gobabis municipality was done between May and June 2019, while a parallel audit took place at the Omaheke Regional Council in December 2019.

He also indicated that the ministry is in consultation with the relevant bodies in the Omaheke Region to oversee and ensure the complete implementation of the recommendations.

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Serafia Nadunya