ACC probes Omuthiya

Political office bearers at the Omuthiya town council have been accused of corruption.

22 July 2019 | Government

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is investigating alleged corrupt practices at the Omuthiya town council after some Swapo members laid complaints against their representatives.

Swapo Party political office bearers at the Omuthiya town council and the regional coordinator for Oshikoto were accused of corrupt practices in the regional capital of Oshikoto.

On 22 June, a group calling itself Swapo Party Members, Supporters, Veterans and Sympathisers in Omuthiya District submitted a petition against the Omuthiya town council to the party's regional coordinator for Oshikoto, Armas Amukwiyu.

Amukwiyu, who serves on the tender committee of the Omuthiya town council, was accused of similar corrupt practices.

In a petition handed over to Amukwiyu, the group alleged that corruption and other misbehaviour committed by the seven councillors representing the Swapo Party at Omuthiya was destroying the party's image and they requested Amukwiyu to bring them to order.

“Comrade regional coordinator, as electorate who elected the said Swapo party political office bearers to represent us at various levels of our Swapo Party, we are sick and tired and can no longer condone such rampant corruption and misbehaving being committed by our party representatives as their conducts are destroying the good name and image of our mighty party (sic),” read the petition.

“We recommend that the Swapo Party recall all office bearers implicated in corruption and with dishonest conducts. All sections renewal of mandate in Omuthiya district be nullified and be redone as 60% of the delegation and candidate lists are not a true reflection of the election results at the sections (sic).”

The group said all implicated party office bearers should be suspended from all party activities until the investigation was concluded.

The town council spokesperson, David Israel, said the town council could not comment at this stage.



The allegations

The group accused mayor Katrina Uusiku of influencing the council to employ her husband, Thomas Uusiku, as grader operator despite not performing well in the job interview.

The group further alleged that the mayor had influenced the council to send her husband for grader operation training in South Africa at a monthly cost of N$100 000, which the council paid.

They further accused her of occupying several plots in the town without paying anything.





Deputy mayor Hisikiel Nanyeni, who previously served as mayor, is accused of allocating himself a residential plot in Extension Five without paying.

The chairperson of the management committee, Beata Nashongo, is accused of nepotism in employing council staff.

Councillor Enos Shipahu is accused of facilitating the sale of the Swapo Party Women's Council property, Erf No 2 in Omuthiya Proper, after he signed the sale document as witness. Shipahu is further accused of allocating himself multiple plots without paying for them.

Councillor Samuel Shivute, former chairperson of the council's management committee, is also accused of overseeing the sale of a Swapo Party property. While he was the chairman of the management committee, he allegedly allocated multiple plots to his relatives.



Investigations

Amukwiyu confirmed having received the petition.

“The allegations that had to do with Swapo Party were discussed by the regional executive committee and investigations were launched. Other complaints were referred to relevant authorities. We cannot dwell much on the details,” said Amukwiyu.

ACC spokesperson Josefina Nghituwamata confirmed that alleged corrupt practices at the Omuthiya town council were being investigated, but would not go into detail.



Allegations over amukwiyu

The Namrights executive director, Phil Ya Nangoloh, posted on Facebook that the Oshikoto Region, Omuthiya and its surroundings have been the subject of prominent media and other reports of real or perceived acts of corruption and other political irregularities.

Ya Nangoloh wrote that it is an election year and some, if not all, of these things need to be clarified.

“There are no persons better placed to clarify these issues than Swapo Party Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu and governor Cde Henock ya Kankoshi,” Ya Nangolo wrote.

“Haulamba la Nangobe (Ya Nangoloh's Facebook name) would like Amukwiyu to clarify whether or not: he serves on the tender committee of Omuthiya town council. His wife is secretary to Samuel Mbango, who is CEO of Omuthiya town? His wife came in number 5 on interview list but came out number 1 on employment list? He knows a businessman? Businessman donated a Mercedes-Benz vehicle to his (Amukwiyu) wife? Businessman paved a gravel road from Omuthiya-Ondangwa motorway to his house? Said businessman Ticks has been awarded one or several tenders by Omuthiya Town Council?”

Amukwiyu described these statements as defamation of character and said he had consulted his lawyers to take legal action against Ya Nangoloh. In response, Ya Nangoloh said he had merely asked questions that Amukwiyu could answer with “yes” or “no”.

ILENI NANDJATO

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