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By: Josia Shigwedha / Finna Kahilil

A group of protesters from Tobias Hainyeko Constituency marched to the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, and Child Welfare on Thursday, demanding funds that were allegedly provided by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for vulnerable members of society two years ago as part of a pilot cash-based transfer study. 

The ministry explained at a press conference that after registering and verifying beneficiaries in the Khomas region, the donor organisation decided to redirect funds to the Kunene region.

The group led by social activist Michael Amushelelo claims that about three years ago, they were promised a once-off payment of N$1800, and N$600 every month as part of the pilot study project to assist vulnerable communities that are food insecure in Windhoek affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. “So we are here, just to ask, who is the thief, or who are those thieves who stole the money of the people, that is what we want today,” stated Amushelelo, adding that they will not leave the ministry’s premises until they get a satisfactory answer regarding the whereabouts of the money.

Responding to the group’s claims, the ministry’s executive director, Martha Mbombo, clarified that there were plans to roll out the project in the Khomas region. However, WFP decided to divert the funds to another region.

Mbombo urged the community not to be misled by groups seeking to take advantage of the situation. She said these groups are making unfounded allegations about the matter on social media.

“Nobody has embezzled money in this process.  I can testify that the Ministry does not have the money. The money was transferred to the service provider and the money went and paid the beneficiaries in the different regions, in this case, Kunene Region,” added Mbombo.

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