Max Makushe temporarily shuts down due to debts

RUNDU: The Max Makushe Secondary School in the Mukwe Constituency of the Kavango East region has temporarily shut down until such a time that the contractor who disconnected the school’s sewer pump last month over non-payment, is paid.

The school’s management sent out a notice to its more than 800 learners on Sunday, calling on them not to report to the hostel and school respectively until the situation is rectified.

Its principal Godfried Mukata told Nampa on Monday that, as a result of the disconnection, the sewage is currently flowing directly into the Kavango River, saying: ‘We cannot compromise the health of the learners, the aquatic animals and that of the community.’

According to Mukata, the school’s sewage ponds underwent renovations by a company called Empire Sense Investment CC in 2021, however, the Directorate of Education in the region failed to pay for the work done.

Now, because the contractor has been waiting for the payment for over two years, the company through its lawyer Bernard Tjatjara gave the ministry an ultimatum to settle the debt or face services being cut off, he added.

Mukata further said that the school and its hostel populace are now unable to make use of the toilets as the sewer water is cut off from flowing to the new ponds.

The contractor is claiming a payment of close to N.dollars 1 million plus a refund of retention fee in the amount of N.dollars 110 893.54 as well as N.dollars 521 823.67 in interest for the payment delays.

In her response, the regional education director, Christine Shilima said she was aware of the situation before stating that the ministry already paid the contractor close to N.dollars 1 million two weeks ago, however, the contractor is demanding the above-mentioned funds to be paid before the reconnection can be done.

Shilima asked that the directorate be given time until Wednesday, while it finds a solution to the problem.

Meanwhile, Mukata maintains that for as long as the contractor is not paid the school will remain closed.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency