AMTA promises beefed-up security at silos

AMTA promises beefed-up security at silos
AMTA promises beefed-up security at silos

Africa-Press – Namibia. The Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) management has announced that for the past few months they have been installing an i-grain computer system to better monitor all its national strategic food reserves or silos.

This system, the agency says, will aid in inventory control as a security measure at its facilities.

This development was made possible through the collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform.

This security upgrade was revealed by AMTA spokesperson Pasval Elijah yesterday in reaction to the recent arrest of an employee, who was nabbed by the Anti-Corruption Commission for alleged corrupt practices surrounding stolen maize grain.

“We regret the incident at our Katima Mulilo silo and herewith would like to assure the public and the nation at large about the security of their foodstuffs stored at all our national strategic food reserves as well as the fresh produce business hubs,” Elijah said.

AMTA has been engaging local producers to sell their products directly or through agents since its inception to empower and encourage them to sell their products locally.

To safeguard resources, she said, AMTA have exiting service level agreements with security companies to deploy security personnel to guard the agency’s properties at all its establishments country-wide.

“The agency usually undertakes monthly stock control at all its national silos and also conducts annual audits to ensure that every resource invested is accounted for and corresponds to our systematic records,” Elijah noted.

The recently nabbed suspect is 49-year-old James Walubita, who was apprehended and charged with contravening Section 43(1) and 35(3) (b) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2003 (Act No.8 of 2003) as amended.

The Anti-Corruption Commission received a tip-off from the whistle-blower against Walubita, who allegedly embezzled AMTA funds for self-gratification.

It is alleged that Walubita sold maize grain from AMTA silos to individual persons and issued them with private bank account details to deposit the money.

It is alleged that approximately 80 tons of maize from AMTA silos in Katima Mulilo was recently sold to a miller (name withheld), whereby the tax invoice of an estimated amount of N$280 000 was issued.

The invoice contains a private individual’s bank details into which money should be deposited.

It appears that the account provided does not belong to AMTA.

The name of the account holder involved is withheld for investigation purposes.

AMTA said it regrets the unfortunate incident regarding the alleged corrupt activities and misappropriation of state resources reported at the national silos in Katima Mulilo.

The ACC noted that AMTA is one of the institutions entrusted to play an important role in the promotion of food security in the country.

Hence, the anti-graft body argues the practices of officials employed in positions of trust embezzling public funds result not only in damage to the national economy but also jeopardise overall food security in the country.

AMTA is a government agency, established with the primary aim to advance national objectives concerning the enhancement of food security, and it is mandated to facilitate the marketing and trading of agricultural produce in the country.

“It should be noted that the agency upholds its mandate with high esteem and has well-established internal policies and standard operating procedures, which guide its operations. Through such policies and procedures, AMTA is able to ensure accountability by all its staff members at all levels within their respective functional units,” Elijah defended.

AMTA informed the nation that it does not in any way condone illegal behaviour and practices, and has urged the public to desist from conniving with their staff members in committing heinous crimes, which only robs the nation of its benefits.

The agency has requested the public to report all suspected illegal activities to their officials at all AMTA outlets through relevant offices and authorities.

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