An epic battle could unfold after Bank Windhoek said it would auction several fixed properties at Katima Mulilo belonging to the estate of the larger-than-life business mogul, the late Felix Mukupi, to offset a loan of hundreds of thousands owed by the tycoon who died intestate.
New Era can reveal Bank Windhoek has given notice to Mukupi’s children that it will auction erven 1836, 1837, 1838 and 1839 but will not proceed with the sale of erf 1117, bequeathed to children from one of the women that Mukupi had children with.
New Era was also informed by Orben Sibeya, the lawyer dealing with Mukupi’s estate, that he was trying to negotiate with Bank Windhoek to avert the property auction planned for tomorrow.
One of the properties apparently targeted by Bank Windhoek is Lyambai which though gutted remains one of the much sought-after, prime business complexes as it is located in the CBD of Katima Mulilo.
The bank loan was advanced to Mukupi who was flattered by being called “General” by hordes of fawning dependants, whom he in return lavished with princely cash gifts. Initially, he owed the bank N$400,000 but the loan now stands at N$800,000, according to Ivy Mukupi, one of Mukupi’s daughters.
Though the businessman, whose generosity was as legendary as his rags-to-riches tale that was anchored on lucrative government security tenders, had left a business with annual turnover running into millions of dollars, Ivy – one of the eight Mukupi children – says she and her seven siblings have yet to enjoy fully the wealth bequeathed to them after their father died on June 16, 2012 in a widely reported road accident.
The affable, thickset businessman whose death was literally a seismic disturbance felt in the entire Zambezi Region and even beyond, and resulted in one of the biggest funerals ever witnessed in Zambezi, had left behind three girls and five boys – all of school-going age.
Ivy also said that she and her siblings are disheartened by the fact that despite substantial amounts being deposited into a business bank account they had opened, they have not received any of that money and of late they have been informed the account has ceased to exist – and their money has disappeared.
Among the amounts deposited into the account were N$240,461.24 deposited on July 17, 2012, N$149,262.74 deposited on July 17, 2012, N$164,418.66 deposited on July 19, 2012, N$376,642.61 deposited on July 20, 2012, N$97,562.07 deposited on July 25, 2012, N$202,097.20 deposited on August 15, 2012, N$158,264.10 deposited on August 16, 2012, N$169,623.29 deposited on August 23, 2012, N$100,558.26 deposited on August 29, 2012, N$166,705.50 deposited on August 31, 2012, N$177,846.80 deposited on September 10, 2012 and N$126,940.80 deposited on September 11, 2012.
Other cash deposits that she says have disappeared, with the closure of the account, are the N$153,746.10 that was also deposited on September 11, 2012, N$100,558.26 deposited on September 25, 2012, and N$150,903.00 deposited on October 12, 2012. There were several other deposits, but substantially they were N$281,960.64 deposited on December 18, 2012, N$229,011.36 deposited on December 21, 2012, and N$378,047.34 deposited on January 18, 2013.
“We don’t know where our father’s money went because there is no money in the account. We are saying we don’t want to sell our father’s properties because we don’t know where our father’s money went,” Ivy told New Era in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
“Our father used to tell his friends and relatives ‘when I die don’t let anyone steal from my children. All that I have worked for belongs to my children, I do not want them to suffer when I die’,” reminisced a teary-eyed Ivy, who said they even approached the Master of the High Court and the Law Society of Namibia to seek some advice in their quest to trace the “missing funds”.
But Orben Sibeya the lawyer handling the Mukupi estate explained there are no ‘missing’ funds – he handled the estate with “due diligence” and has regularly filed reports with the Master of the High Court showing how the funds deposited into the account have been disbursed.
“What they did with the money generated from the company only the Lord knows,” said Sibeya.
“I think it is important to note that most of this money was coming in while we were administering Njangula Security Services. During the time we were administering Njangula Security Services we would receive a list of employees to be paid on a monthly basis through Mushaukwa, the manager of Njangula,” said Sibeya who also revealed the Mukupi estate still owes him agent’s commission.
Sibeya said that before the security firm was bequeathed to the major beneficiaries it was worth N$7 million. But he had discovered some “ghost workers” listed by Njangula Security Services and he was compelled to remove them from its payroll.
He said that Ivy had earlier reported him to the Master of the High Court as she and her siblings had wanted to run the security company, but after it was handed over to them around 2014 they again reported him to the Master of the High Court, to whom they complained they were expected to run the firm without any experience.
Sibeya further explained that the majors in the inheritance got more than their minor siblings, adding that the security company was worth more than the fixed assets bequeathed the majors who in actual fact owe their minor siblings the monetary difference between what the two parties were bequeathed.
He also revealed that previously he helped the Mukupi children to have their security tender extended.
Sibeya says he has been lenient towards Ivy and the other senior heirs, as they had agreed to pay the minor heirs of the Mukupi inheritance an amount of N$2,4 million over a two-year period. The amount that is still outstanding had resulted from the difference in the value of the properties bequeathed to the senior and minor heirs of the Mukupi estate, stated Sibeya.
Sibeya also said the total amount paid into the estate of the late Mukupi was N$3,714 million of which N$3,629 million “was paid towards the running and operation costs as well as salaries for the employees of the two companies (Njangula Security Services and Mwendabo Security Services). Part of the money was paid to Ivy Mukupi and her siblings as advance payments on their inheritances for accommodation and university, tertiary fees. A copy of the approved liquidation account by the Office of the Master of the High Court can be obtained from the Master of the High Court.”