The former NCD City Manager issued an online apology as well as outlined the process and fund allocation given to the Yoga/Walk for Life program.
His online response reads:
“This is my response to the online articles in pngblog by a faceless person who used a hidden camera to record a casual friendly conversation posed as a good friend but had hidden motives behind this recording.
If this ‘so called good friend” had the courtesy to interview me I would have provided him all the information.
Ms. Fazillah Bazari was engaged in 2015 by the NCD PSIP at the cost of around K120,000.
NCDC got involved in this program in 2016 by formally engaging Ms Fazilah to manage the Yoga/Walk for Life program with K300,000.
With this small funding, I saw the program getting numerous international recognitions, achievements and drawing huge crowds at Sunday walks.
Therefore I wanted to absorb it by NCDC for structural delivery of the desired outcome so this program can be sustained in long way.
My intention by then was to adopt program like this for the behavioural change of our people so that we can achieve a balanced growth given that we have well advanced on infrastructures growth but not socially.
In 2017, NCDC provided K2 million as counterpart funding to cover the additional components together with the NCD PSIP component of K1 million thus making the total budget to K3 million for 2017.
This is properly budgeted and approved by the Board and the engagement duly vetted as required by statutory approvals.
The program involved “The Mauri Rakana” a newspaper insert together with City Sivarai, Yoga for Life, Walk for Life and Sanap Wantaim campaign.
The total budget of the program is not meant for Fazilah as suggested in the post.
This program involves lot of groups, stakeholders such as instructors, coordinators, place for training, securities, campaigning and awareness, newspaper publications, travel for organisers, transportation of performers and public and hire of places etc.
There is a minor component of K5,000 per week for fees for Fazilah to cover her remuneration and others utilities. The program budget has a separate sub-budget on its own together with the deliverables.
Therefore, the monthly payment of K250,000 is only a ceiling that the Program Manager Fazilah has to manage within and not meant for her.
She promptly submits monthly acquittals and reports before the next month payment is released.
I have approved such acquittals and authorisation of payments after a review of the acquittals to be my satisfaction. The contract started in 2017 is for only one year and gets renewed yearly.
The program from NCDC is its second year when I renewed the contract in January 2018.
I don’t have access to the books now but I estimate the total payment for the program since 2014 to be around K3.42 million by the time I left NCDC of which Fazilah would have received K380,000 in total.
The contract was not for 3 or 5 years or paid K15 million as speculated.
I became a victim of the gossip and learned my lesson in a bitter way. I will be more careful.
Above all, I sincerely wish to apologise to the Governor Parkop, Ms Fazilah and hundreds of coordinators who are part of this noble program, NCDC and the new City Manager for my action that affected in one way or other”.
Initial responses were given by the NCD Governor and Ms Bazari, however no official word has been made as yet with regards to this recent posting by the former city manager.