By ISAAC NICHOLAS
THE National Housing Corporation (NHC) is not facing any serious financial problems but keeping its head above water, acting managing director Raho Kevau said yesterday.
“We are paying our water, power, the contractors and retrenched officers,” Mr Kevau said.
He said all staff payments had been met on time over the past six years without any major financial difficulties.
Mr Kevau said most of the tenants were not up-to-date with rental payments because of other commitments like school fees, which the NHC is sympathetic about, but by February and March, business will be back to normal.
Mr Kevau is acting managing director while caretaker Tarcisius Munganaua is on sick leave.
Mr Kevau and finance director Morgan Kaiulo said this was in response to disgruntled staff claims that more than 200 officers of NHC might not be paid their salaries due to insufficient funds.
An officer, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the NHC was short of K30,000 and housing officers queuing up at the ATM’s since Wednesday had not received their pay.
It is believed all the housing finances have dried out just before Christmas to settle a garnishee order obtained by a terminated officer while substantial amount of monies were also drawn out to settle outstanding claims to a number of contractors.
The disgruntled staff said the NHC finances were further weakened through payments of monies to private legal consultants to fight the court challenge by suspended managing director Paul Asukusa.
“Financial problems appear to be more entrenched as the Corporation can only make part payments to contractors while retrenched officers are still owed substantial amount of entitlements dating back about six years.”
Mr Kaiulo, in response, said he had deposited the pay check yesterday morning and NHC staff can access their salary as of yesterday and if there was any delay it had nothing to do with NHC.
He said contractors and retrenched officers were on a schedule and part-payments had been agreed upon at this time of the year as business was normally slow during the Christmas-New Year period.
Mr Kaiulo said NHC had talked with the contractors and reached an understanding for part payments until such time when business picked up again around February/March.
“Just like any other organisation, we do have cash-flow problems but we are managing .”
Regarding the garnishee order, Mr Kaiulo said it had been sorted out with K167,000 paid to a terminated officer last year.