WINDHOEK – The Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) has accused its former chairperson Pendapala Nakathingo of defrauding the organisation, customers and Nabta members of an amount exceeding N$100 000.
It is alleged the money was accrued from that paid for vehicle identification numbers in Oshana, Omusati, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions, and from application fees paid by Nabta members.
The allegations are made in a report by the president of Nabta, Vespa Muunda.
Nakathingo, who is still a representative of Nabta at the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA), is also accused of causing confusion among members, manipulation, mistrust and misuse of office for other personal gratification.
Muunda says in the report that the accused’s actions led to his suspension and termination of service on March 27, 2015 because he would not change for the better even after discussions were held with him, adding that Nakathingo went to the extent of using his own emails, post and a personal stamp for businesses purposes to hide his dealings.
“Nabta hereby with due respect and honor informs you that Pendapala Nakathingo, chairman of Nabta, has been suspended and relieved of his duties. The management has decided to bring the matter to the attention of the public for transparency and justice,” states the report.
“Nakathingo deserted the Nabta office since November 2013 and caused division, mistrust, confusion, and manipulated and misused Nabta offices as chairman, therefore whoever shall do business with Nakathingo, it is at his/her own risk,” the report further states.
Nabta alleges Nakathingo sourced and organized meetings without the consent of the Nabta president and would rake in the surplus amount.
“I can call this guy a thief, it is not something to hide as he has a record of such things spanning from his previous job, but unfortunately we only discovered this later on and at the same time he is a crook. In one incident he swindled N$700 from a passenger going to South Africa and vanished,” Muunda says.
However when asked why Nabta had not opened a case he said they were still trying to gather more facts, as much as they could, adding it was not their aim to reveal such details to the media as it was considered an internal matter.
“This was an internal matter but now we can no longer keep it internal as this guy is still secretly operating as a Nabta representative and we want to inform the public not to engage with him in any form of business,” stated the Nabta president.
When contacted for clarity the accused said he was aware of the allegations, adding that they span a long time now, but maintaining that he had been telling the “concerned people in the matter” to approach him for any queries.
He said the allegations were politically motivated: “I know these allegations are politically motivated and I am not willing to engage in politics. If Nabta wants to know more they know where to find me.”
“I have worked together for many years with the Nabta president and he knows me very well. The allegations he is making are his own personal agenda,” he said.
However, Muunda said they have been trying to engage him (Nakathingo) in discussions to clarify the issues but he was apparently not forthcoming.
The vice-president of Nabta Jeffrey Platt phoned New Era pleading with the newspaper not to publish the article, stating Nakathingo’ suspension was not decided by the committee and arguing it was Muunda’s decision alone, but he confirmed the accusations of fraud against Nakathingo.