New Theft Case at Unam

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By Petronella Sibeene and John Ekongo WINDHOEK Barely a fortnight after the suspension of two senior academics on charges of theft of computers from the University of Namibia (Unam), the institution has again suspended another big fish. The suspect who was recently suspended is none other than Martino Vonkie Olivier, the Head of the Accommodation Section in the Office of the Dean of Students at Unam. He is accused of theft. Well-placed sources say the suspect is alleged to have requested the procurement of three Digital Satellite Receivers (Vivid bouquet) last year August. The three satellite receivers were meant for use in hostels by students. However, it later transpired the three products were never installed at the intended residence block. According to a source, one of the products was installed at the residence of Olivier on campus grounds and another one was handed over for care to the Dean of Students and International Programmes, while the third disappeared into thin air. It is believed that the missing Digital Satellite Receiver might have been installed at Olivier’s farm in the vicinity of Rehoboth. Sources in the procurement and finance division of Unam also discovered that the same official at an earlier time had a full package Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) installed at his official residence for three years, for which the university footed the monthly bill to the service providers. In what looks like the same scenario repeating itself, “Olivier requested the DSTV mentioned package under the pretence of student use but it never reached the intended recipients”, said a source. Sources said the university’s management is contemplating a visit to the said farm in the hope of finding more goods. Police spokesperson Warrant Officer James Matengu yesterday confirmed that Olivier was arrested on Friday on charges of theft but was eventually released on bail of N$1 000. In a circular to all members of staff and students, the Vice Chancellor of the university Professor Lazarus Angula is quoted as saying: “Unam has suspended its Head: Student Accommodation Mr M. Olivier with immediate effect, pending an investigation relating to the disappearance of DSTV equipment.” In light of that, all student queries related to accommodation should be directed to the Student Union Administrator Levi Shigwedha and any cases of irregularities must be forwarded to the head of security. “The university management wishes to acknowledge with much appreciation the growing number of Unam constituencies who are coming forth to report cases of wrong-doing since the last case involving theft of computers from the university.” This, as stated in the circular is greatly necessary if the university is to eradicate the growing number of misconduct cases. “I would like to reiterate that any form of irregularity will not be tolerated at the university of Namibia. “The university system will continue to rely on the support of those individuals who come forward and report cases of corruption,” Hangula added.