Housing allocations the height of impunity
Posted Wednesday, June 27 2012 at 19:30
A special audit report on irregular allocation of a State corporation’s houses has come up with very strange recommendations that leave everyone wondering whether the principle of justice has any meaning at all.
The report commissioned by the Inspector-General of State Corporation says top government officials, among them an assistant minister and three permanent secretaries, were allocated National Housing Corporation houses irregularly.
Basically, it corroborates earlier reports that had indicted the corporation’s board and top management over abuse of office.
The corporation’s mandate is to put up houses and sell them to the public in a transparent manner. But that is not what happened. Influential individuals were favoured during the allocations.
Some board members and managers were given several houses without the laid-down procedures being followed, while others used proxies. But despite the glaring anomalies, the audit brazenly rules out punishment for the perpetrators of what, essentially, is fraud and abuse of office.
Not only does it argue against repossession of the houses, it also spares the employees involved any form of punishment. If there was any doubt what impunity is, here is a classic example.
It is absurd to argue that recovering those houses would lead to litigation, and therefore, the culprits should be allowed to enjoy their ill-gotten property. Were such reasoning to hold sway, then the country could as well forget about the rule of law.
We vehemently protest the report’s findings and ask the Ministry of Housing to take over the matter and deal with it decisively.
All the houses built through public funds and allocated irregularly must be repossessed and those involved in the scandal punished.