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Interview Transcripts

INTERVIEW: Shaun Gariseb Raises Alarms Over City of Windhoek’s Defective Solar Billing System

todayJuly 10, 2024 5

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In a pressing issue that has caught the attention of many, Shaun Gariseb from the Katutura Residents Committee, has come forward to address significant concerns about the City of Windhoek’s solar billing system. During a recent briefing, Gariseb disclosed the ongoing efforts to file criminal cases against various top officials in the City of Windhoek, highlighting the system’s defects and its profound impact on residents.

The committee member emphasized the severity of the situation, explaining that the solar billing system, also utilized for water billing, has been malfunctioning for quite some time. The defectiveness of the system was notably reported in 2022, revealing irregularities that have since persisted, leading to severe billing discrepancies.

Systemic Irregularities

Gariseb detailed several alarming instances where the defective system resulted in substantial billing errors. In one notable case, a bill of N$90,000 was erroneously added to an account and subsequently erased without any justification. More shockingly, a resident’s account had a staggering N$1 million charge appended to it, showcasing the system’s critical faults and the extent of its impact on individuals.

Katutura Residents Committee’s Repeated Pleas

The Katutura Residents Committee has been vocal in its demands for transparency and accountability from the City of Windhoek. They have repeatedly called for explanations regarding why the accounts linked to this defective system behave differently compared to regular accounts, such as those from EDGARs. Despite these calls, the City has yet to provide satisfactory answers.

Evidence and Legal Action

Gariseb asserted that concrete evidence has been gathered from reliable sources, strengthening the case against the implicated officials. This evidence is expected to play a crucial role in advancing their legal proceedings. The situation has reached a point where the commercial branch and the Namibian police are involved, working towards finalizing the cases against the top officials accused of complicity in what he described as “thievery.”

Press Conference and Upcoming Demonstration

To further address these pressing concerns, Gariseb announced a press conference scheduled to take place at Jacob Marenga. Additionally, a demonstration is planned for next Wednesday, during which participants will demand an immediate forensic audit of the solar billing system. This protest aims to hold accountable those responsible for the financial burden unfairly placed on residents due to the system’s defects.

Conclusion

The revelations brought forth by Shaun Gariseb and the Katutura Residents Committee underscore the urgent need for accountability and transparency within the City of Windhoek. As residents grapple with erroneous bills and the associated stress, the call for a thorough forensic audit and corrective measures grows louder. The upcoming demonstration is set to be a pivotal moment in the ongoing fight for justice and fairness in the city’s billing practices.

Written by: Leonard Witbeen

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