By Kuvee Kangueehi
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has dismissed claims of conflict of interest against the Minister of Justice and Attorney General Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, arguing that the allegations have no substance.
In a media release issued by the Director of ACC, Paulus Noa, yesterday the ACC said it has investigated all the allegations including the alleged conflict of interest after a complaint was lodged with the ACC on January 22, this year regarding “certain butchery at Omuthiya known as HANEHE butchery that supplies meat to restaurants of NWR in Etosha National Park”.
Noa said the ACC conducted an investigation and established that HANAHE butchery is co-owned by Joseph Ithana and his wife, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana.
The director revealed that all relevant persons including the husband of the minister, Joseph Ithana, who is full time at the butchery business, were approached and statements were obtained.
The Managing Director of Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), Tobie Aupindi, and officials from the Chief Veterinary office were also interviewed during the investigations.
Noa said after thorough investigations, the ACC found that no law was contravened in supplying meat to lodges of NWR in Etosha National Park.
He added that the ACC also established that HANAHE butchery is not the sole supplier of products to the lodges and that the transportation of meat between Omuthiya and Etosha through Nehale gate does not by law require any permit.
Noa further noted that the ACC was provided with documentary proof that Joseph Ithana went even above board and every time his butchery had to supply meat to Etosha he obtained permit from the State Veterinarian in the Oshikoto Region in which the type of meat being supplied is explained.
The director said Joseph Ithana informed the ACC that because of the agreement he has with NWR, he bought animals at auctions and from individual farmers south of the cordon fence, which he slaughters and prepares the meat according to the specifications of the resorts at Etosha.
Noa added that he even confirmed with the Chief Veterinarian, Otto Huebschle, that Ithana by law does not even need a veterinary permit to transport meat to Etosha through Nehale gate.
On the conflict of interest, Noa said the ACC could not find evidence substantiating the allegations.
He noted that NWR is a corporate entity, which has agreements with other entities as well to supply products to its resorts.
Noa said the complaint was lodged with the ACC on January 22, regarding “certain butchery at Omuthiya known as HANEHE butchery that supplies meat to restaurants of NWR in Etosha National Park”.
The whistleblower felt that the supply of meat in Etosha National Park was in contravention of the law and it was probably done in collusion with the veterinary officers and that is the reason why he lodged a complaint with ACC to conduct an investigation.