The state has laid charges of fraud and corruption against Ondangwa Town Council CEO Ismael Namgongo and his two in-laws Eino Nyanyukweni Elishi and Loini Nambunga Elishi, as well as an employee of the Oshikoto Regional Council Michael Shitula Asino.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) charges that Namgongo and Asino corruptly used their office and or positions for gratification after they allegedly failed to declare their interest to the local tender board during consideration of a construction tender in which they had interest.
Nyanyukweni Elishi and Nambunga Elishi are accused of fraud for wrongfully and unlawfully falsifying information with intent to defraud the state.
The case dates back to 2011 when the Oshikoto Regional Council had advertised for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to tender for the construction of ventilated improved pit latrines in the region that year.
At the time, Namgongo was working as the deputy director for rural services at Oshikoto Regional Council. He allegedly used his position, which by virtue made him a member of the local tender board that awarded tenders in the region, to help award his biological brother Ashondali Enos Namgongo or his close corporation Ashamu Investment CC, a tender worth N$60 000 to install 28 toilets units.
Around the same time, Namgongo allegedly awarded his brother and sister-in-law Nyanyukweni Elishi via Okongo Investment CC and Nambunga Elishi a tender through Thiigipo Renovation CC to install 28 and 29 toilet units respectively.
The ACC contends that Namgongo contravened Regulation 5(1) (b) of the tender board regulations and Section 43 (1) read with sections 32, 46, 49, and 51 of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2003, for corruptly using his office or position for gratification. His in-laws were are accused of misrepresentation during the tendering process.
The information is contained in a charge dated January, 25, 2017, brought forward to the ACC from the prosecutor-general, in which the four accused were arraigned in the Tsumeb Magistrate court.
The charge sheet further indicates that Asino, who is employed as a director for general services and is in charge of administration, finance and human resources the the regional council, used his office or position to award himself or his closed corporation Omukaga Fish Farming CC a tender worth N$50 000 to transport toilet units to Oshigambo and Oniipa.
Asino is, by virtue of his position, a member of the local tender board which awards some government tenders in the region.
“They made their first court appearance on February, 28 and were released on bail. Their case was remanded to June 12, as one of them requested for legal representation hence it was to allow them to get legal representation,” stated ACC Deputy Director-General, Advocate Erna van de Merwe.
According to the penalty clause under Section 49 of the Anti-Corruption Act, anyone found guilty for corruptly using their office for gratification could pay penalties of up to N$500 000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 25 years, or both. Contravening tender board regulations could result in a fine of not more than N$2000 or six month imprisonment or both.