Cops open N$14m fraud case

Businessman Amos Shiyuka has pleaded innocence, saying there is a crusade aimed at tarnishing his name.

02 June 2020 | Crime

EDWARD MUMBUU JNR

WINDHOEK



The police have opened a case against businessman Amos Shiyuka for allegedly defrauding it of N$14.2 million.

Official documents seen by Nampa show that an initial tender for the installation of speed trap cameras valued at around N$3 million ended up costing N$14.2 million.

The documents reveal how Shiyuka's company secured a second tender worth around N$11 million where government procurement procedures were seemingly circumvented.

The second contract was secured through an email communication between former police traffic department chief, Ralph Ludwig, who wrote to Shiyuka to do additional work for the police back in 2015. Ludwig has since retired from the force.

Speaking to Nampa, Shiyuka pleaded innocence, saying there is a crusade aimed at tarnishing his name.

He said he did not secure a new tender while still doing work for the police, but that his company was requested to do additional work which was not part of the initial agreement.

This then amplified the contract to N$14.2 million.

His company - CSS - was not handpicked in both these contracts and arrangements, he said.

“The contract amount [N$14.2 million] tendered for, scope of work during the tender and contract as wells as additional services requested outside the scope are all documented and comprehensively indicated in the report submitted to the project manager,” Shiyuka said last week.

Police commissioner Helen Gawases is cited as the complainant in the matter in the case registered on 5 May 2020.



'Internal pressure'

It is alleged that Gawases has been under internal pressure not to open this case as it “involves senior police officers within the force and people linked to the ruling party”.

An insider told Nampa Shiyuka has not been formally informed that the police are investigating him, neither has he been called in for questioning or arrested thus far.

Upon inquiry, Gawases said: “I don't speak to journalists. Speak to the IG [Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga], Mr [Nelius] Becker or our public relations department.”

Further, senior sources with direct knowledge of the case said Shiyuka's company was supposed to install or improve traffic cameras for the police's traffic division, a service which “was never rendered or at best was of sub-standard work”.

Despite the allegations, the former footballer is adamant that he delivered by installing, among others, 12 fixed and a further 12 mobile speed trap cameras and subsequent other traffic related services such as training for the police's traffic division.

He presented documents to back these claims.



Standing idle

Meanwhile, due to regulatory and legal reasons, speed trap cameras that Shiyuka's company installed along Namibian highways are yet to be operationalised.

Shiyuka said it is not up to him to gazette and fully operationalise the 12 cameras on the national roads.

The money in question was donated to the police by the Road Fund Administration to improve the situation on Namibia's deadly roads.

The transaction received Ndeitunga's full endorsement, details show.

The inspector-general is said to be furious that his subordinates made him bless a transaction that was not above board.

When approached for comment, Ndeitunga was unimpressed.

“Where did you get the documents? Those sources should explain better. Why should you come to me when you got issues from the police unofficially?”

He said this journalist should have approached him first before getting information from the sources.

He then conceded: “I know the case but that is not the way I wanted the case to be handled because the information might be wrong. Not wrong, but it might not be accurate, because you have people whom you have recruited to give you half-information and then you want us to come in. Official information should come from me.”

Police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi declined to comment on the matter.

“The Head of the Criminal Investigations Directorate, Commissioner Becker is handling the case and he can attend to your questions,” Shikwambi said.

Becker said: “I cannot comment on that.”

- NAMPA

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