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MP Becker denies managing and misusing UPM funds

MP Becker denies managing and misusing UPM funds

Staff Reporter

MEMBER of Parliament, Celest Becker, has denied allegations of mismanaging and taking funds of the United People’s Movement (UPM) without the approval of the party’s management.
The alleged mismanagement resulted in the party spending N$293 000, an amount that was N$143 000 more than the N$150 000 that was budgeted for.

In a statement dated 12 March 2023, the UPM President, alleged that UPM’s Secretary General Becker participated in financial mismanagement and irregularities, whilst at the same time distancing the Management Committee from such mismanagement of party funds.

In response to this, Becker has however denied these the allegations adding that she was excluded from any form of access to the bank account of the UPM, and had no transactional capacity in the funding of the UPM since being endorsed and elected to the position.

NOT ME: MP Celest Becker. Photo: Contributed.

“The UPM Secretary General is not authorized to sign any financial transactional documentation, except for the acceptance of a Subsistence and Travel Allowance (S&T) for Party duties as for all other elected Office Bearers,” Becker said.

Becker added that the UPM President had proposed that the banking access financial instrument be directed as follows:

– Transactional Capacity (Request One Time Pin (OTP) – Accountant Cassily Dentlinger,
– OTP Receipt – Deputy Secretary General (Cllr. Justin Coetzee) and
– Signatories to the UPM Bank Account – Deputy National Treasurer
Hannalora Lottering and former Acting Chairperson Frans Bertolini.
The UPM Constitution, under Section 15.5, defines the Secretary General as the Political and Administrative Officer of the party who works in close collaboration with the Secretary for Finance, and maintain effective financial control.

The Management Committee, under Section 19 of the UPM Constitution comprises of the President, Vice President, Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, Members of Parliament, Local Authority Councilors and National Treasurer, and shall not include the Secretaries for Finance (Renate Mouton), Secretary for Organization and Mobilization (Esmarelda Izaaks), the Secretary for Information and Publicity (Francis Huish) and the Deputy National Treasurer (Hannalora Lottering).

According to Becker, the UPM Management Committee directed, as proposed by President Jan van Wyk that the Secretary for Finance work solely with the National Treasurer and Deputy National Treasurer as the Financial Committee (including the Accountant), which is a deviation from the UPM Constitution to evade the mandate of the UPM Secretary General, to be a mediator for these elected positions as an accountable officer for the Administration of the UPM.

She added that the UPM President does not have any capacity of engagement in the financial reporting instruments and access to UPM funding, however, the UPM President has continuously interfered with and dictated the financial management of the UPM.

“The Secretariat, under the Secretary General, presented the budget for approval to the Management Committee for the amount of N$150,000, however it had no participation in sanctioning the overspending on the approved budget, which was vested in the Financial Committee, which included the UPM President. The Secretary General is on record as having proposed that two officials from the Secretariat, together with the heads of the Women and Youth Leagues, as well as the Secretary for Information and Publicity and the Vice Chairperson represent the Party to minimize cost for the launch of the Manifesto. However, the UPM Management Committee demanded more members to attend the event, which increased the cost significantly. She alleged that the UPM President has continuously demanded payments and transactions to be affected and that is on record.

According to her, it is also recorded that the Management Committee approved loan advancement to the UPM and effective repayment.

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