Nawa in court over ‘crooked’ land deal

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Aron Mushaukwa

Katima Mulilo-Charles Nawa, the former chief executive officer of Katima Mulilo Town Council, was brought before the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court yesterday on charges of corruption and fraud, alternatively theft with false pretence over a dubious land deal.

Before his court arraignment, Nawa was on Tuesday morning arrested by the police and spent the night in the police cells at Ngoma police station over the bogus land deal that reportedly went awry.

Facts before court are that Nawa agreed to sell part of the land in question (Erf 13280) that he is leasing from Katima Mulilo Town Council to self-made businessman Progress Sipapela for N$500,000 in a deal sealed in May last year when Nawa was still the CEO of Katima Mulilo Town Council.

Sipapela, the former mayoral driver in Windhoek, proceeded to pay Nawa a deposit of N$200,000.

After paying the deposit Sipapela requested proof of ownership from Nawa before he could pay the remaining N$300,000 to finalise the deal. It was at this stage that Sipapela apparently discovered that Nawa was not the owner of the prime piece of land along the Zambezi River, as he was leasing it from the town council, having signed a five-year lease agreement with an option to renew in October 2013 – which is due to expire in December 2018.

After Sipapela discovered the land did not belong to Nawa he asked him to repay the money and when Nawa failed Sipapela approached the authorities to help him reclaim his money.

Nawa, who was arrested on Tuesday morning at Nawa Nawa Gardens along the Zambezi River, then spent the night in the holding cells at Ngoma Police station.

He made his first appearance in court yesterday, where he was granted bail of N$10,000 on condition that he not interfere with state witnesses, that he not come near Katima Mulilo Town Council and that he not leave the Katima District without notifying the investigative officer.

He must also report to the police station every Friday between 08h00 and 17h00.

The case was then postponed to July 28 to allow for further police investigations. Magistrate Vincent Nzaca presided over the case, while Aubrey Ndlovu represented the State.

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