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Govt clueless on Geingob’s funeral expenditure

Written by on April 11, 2024

The government is still clueless on how much was spent to finance president Hage Geingob’s funeral proceedings.

Geingob died on 4 February and was buried on 25 February.

However, over a month down the line, the government is yet to determine the total expenses incurred for the memorial and funeral ceremonies, while various companies continue to submit invoices for their services.

This was last week confirmed by executive director Audrin Mathe information and communication technology, who said the ministry is still consolidating invoices to determine the total amount of money spent.

“The overall cost of the state funeral is yet to be concluded as invoices are still being consolidated by the budget holder. Currently, we cannot indicate the cost until this process is concluded,” he said.

Mathe said the tendering process for the provision of services such as catering, logistics, media and printing for the memorial and funeral was done in line with the Procurement Act.

“The process has not been finalised yet as the budget holder is still receiving invoices from the various companies. Once that process is concluded we can share this information,” he said.

This comes in response to demands for transparency about the tendering process, especially in light of allegations suggesting that the beneficiaries of these tenders were predominantly from the ruling elite.

“We cannot respond to claims that have not been raised with us formally. Tenders are awarded as per the processes outlined in the Procurement Act,” Mathe said. He said if the public has any concerns over how tenders for services were awarded, they should raise them using the provisions of the act.

Minister of information and communication technology Emma Theofelus during a public briefing in February said there was no exact figure available for the government’s expenditure on memorial and funeral activities, although a provisional budget was allocated to Geingob’s funeral. At the time, she said the reconciliation would be made available after Geingob’s burial.

“The expenditure keeps going back and forth. No amount has been put as a cap. we are not so sure how much has been spent so far, because we are constantly spending on the needs as they arise,” Theofelus said.

Institute for Public Policy Research executive director Graham Hopwood last month also called for transparency on the cost of Geingob’s funeral arrangements, saying the funds came from the national budget, possibly the contingency fund, which means they have to be accounted for.

“In the interest of transparency, it would be better if this could be done within the next few months rather than having to wait for a future budget, which includes past expenditure, or for an auditor general’s report, which could take several years,” Hopwood said.

Independent Patriots for Change spokesperson Imms Nashinge has said for the sake of transparency, the government should “do the right thing and inform the public”.

“Since it is the first time we have lost a sitting president, it is about time we put in place standards so that in future we could have clarity on how things are done,” he said at the time.

The Namibian understands that the late president’s funeral was managed by multiple government entities, including a ministerial committee chaired by prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila for policy oversight, and a national preparatory committee chaired by cabinet secretary George Simaata, to offer technical support and coordinate implementation.

Under this arrangement, the information ministry is the spokesperson of the government on funeral matters.

The post Govt clueless on Geingob’s funeral expenditure appeared first on The Namibian.

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