Windhoek-Five officials working for government offices in Oshikoto Region and arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for alleged dodgy land deals at Oshivelo, appeared in the Oshakati Regional Court on Monday.
Magistrate Leopold Hangalo granted N$10 000 bail each to Rosalia Ndipwashimwe, Kornelia Amutenya, Julia Hauwanga, Elise Hango and Matatias Moses and remanded the matter to April 3 this year, for legal aid.
The five officials are accused of allocating land plots to themselves and their relatives at Oshivelo settlement, the ACC alleges.
Amutenya indicated she will conduct her own defence in the matter, while her four co-accused indicated they will apply for legal aid.
Ndipwashimwe is a former senior administrative officer for Oshivelo settlement and faces 15 counts of corruption. Moses, a former development planner for Oshikoto Regional Council faces two counts.
Amutenya, an account assistant for the Guinas Constituency office faces one count, while her Hauwanga, who works as administrative officer for the same office is also facing one count.
Also facing one count is Hango, an administrative officer at Oshivelo settlement. In a late statement yesterday, the ACC said Moses was arrested in Oshakati and the rest were arrested in Oshivelo.
Speaking to New Era from Omuthiya yesterday, Oshikoto Chief Regional Officer Frans Endjala said council will not bring charges against the accused officials, because action is already being taken against them by the ACC.
“Our understanding is that the alleged allocation of plots took place a long time ago and we provided the ACC with all information they requested from us,” said Endjala, who was formerly a CEO of Okahandja municipality.
“We are being careful not to suspend them because they have not been found guilty. Sometimes allegations of corruption originate from issues of interpretation.”
“We don’t condone corruption of any kind and if any of them is found guilty, we’ll look into our HR policies and see what can be done in mitigation.”
Nelao ya France prosecuted.
Meanwhile, the ACC announced yesterday it has uncovered corruption, fraud, money laundering and contraventions of the Value Added Tax Act against employees of the ministry of agriculture, New Africa Dimensions and Wenrod Close Corporation after initiating and completing an investigation in 2012.
“The allegations in summary is that employees of the ministry of agriculture knowingly and corruptly misrepresented to the ministry that certain goods, to wit Lister engines and other goods had to be purchased,” the statement reads.
The accused persons in the matter are Benedictus Freyer (deputy director in the ministry of agriculture), Sadiek Lorenz Meintjies (former clerk in ministry of agriculture), Sylvia Hoeses (IT systems administrator in ministry of agriculture), Gerhard Shilongo (IT- Office of the Prime Minister), Eliaser Shikage (IT – Office of the Prime Minister), New Africa Dimensions (represented by Gerhard Shilongo), Rothny Stanley Hoeseb (Wenrod CC), Wentzer Jonathan Gomeb (Wenrod CC) and Jeffrey Johnson (Wenrod CC).
“The prices of these goods were inflated, bought without exemption, short delivered and not delivered at all, certified as received whilst they were never delivered and additional work and costs were charged and given to family members of employees of the ministry of agriculture for the transport of these engines whilst it was included in the purchase price.”
“The said family members (Wenrod Close Corporation) then in turn allegedly made misrepresentations to the ministry as to their costs for transporting the goods. The suppliers New Africa Dimensions, represented by Mr Shilongo and Shikage (both employees of the Office of the Prime Minister) issued invoices to the ministry of agriculture whilst the goods were not yet delivered.”
“On completion of the investigation the case file was submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor-General who decided to arraign 8 individuals on 71 charges in the Windhoek Regional Court, Windhoek. The accused persons (with the exception of Mr Benedictus Freyer) were arrested between dates 1-6 February 2017 and appeared in the Windhoek Magistrates court. They were granted bail of between N$30 000 to N$ 80 000.”
The case was remanded to the 2nd of March 2017.
In a different matter, the ACC finalised an investigation against Immanuel Shivute who was transferred from the Omusati Regional Council’s directorate of education to the Office of the President during 2013 and allegedly continued to receive salaries from both the ministry of education and the Office of the President.
“On completion of the investigation, the case file was submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor-General who decided to arraign Mr Shivute in the Special Court in Windhoek on 31 counts of theft. The State suffered a loss of N$ 798 370-30,” the ACC said yesterday.
Shivute was arrested on 31 January and appeared in the Windhoek Magistrates Court on1 February, where he was granted bail of N$50 000. The case was remanded to 17 February 2017.