King Elifas used for enrichment

A fishing company is trying to trace seven shareholders - including the Ondonga king - who own a 50% stake in a joint venture.

14 June 2018 | Cultural

An aide to Ondonga king Immanuel Kauluma Elifas has confirmed they are aware of individuals who have been using his name to enrich themselves, including by registering him as a beneficiary of business deals without his knowledge.

This follows a letter that went viral on social media recently, dated 18 August 2016, which was addressed to fisheries permanent secretary Moses Mauhungirire.

In the letter Oshazinga GRD Joint Venture said it was struggling to locate seven shareholders, including the king, who jointly held 50% of the shares in the JV.

“We are not aware if the king is truly a shareholder in that company or if people are just using his name. We have been hearing such talk for a very long time that there are certain individuals who are using the king's name to enrich themselves. We are following it up to make sure the king gets what belongs to him,” King Elifas spokesperson Naeman Amalwa told Namibian Sun.

He did not share what business activities the king is involved in or whether he holds shares in companies.

Efforts by Namibian Sun to establish whether the JV still exists, to trace the individuals mentioned and establish whether they received dividends, proved unsuccessful.

In the letter, Miguel Tordesillas of Oshazinga, a joint venture with the NovaNam group of companies, through its subsidiary company Gendor and local shareholders, appealed to Mauhungirire to continue awarding it fishing licences, despite the company not being able to trace seven individuals who held a 50% stake in the joint venture.

“We received a fax from an auditing company in 2005 where it was stated that Deon September transferred the shares of Oshazinga from himself to seven individuals.

This is all the information we have at our disposal in terms of what constitutes 50% of this joint venture. We have been unable to find/contact these persons despite several attempts to do so over the years,” the letter read.

The names mentioned were King Elifas, Maria Thomas, Maria Movilongo, Mirjam Geirises, Jacob Amalala, Micha Rodney Frans and Julia Neumbo.

Tordesillas told Mauhungirire it was very important for the ministry to keep the JV alive, as the awarding of the fishing licences had provided jobs on vessels, as well as land for offloading and dispatching.

He also indicated the JV was generating foreign revenue.

Tordesillas's letter further said the JV was inherited when NovaNam took over the liquidated Gendor in 2002.

Tordesillas did not respond to enquiries by Namibian Sun.

Fisheries ministry spokesperson De Wet Siluka said he did know whether the JV still existed.

“The ministry has introduced a new system and it is now difficult for us to know if that joint venture still exists or who the shareholders are.

The only institution that will be able to provide you with such information is the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (Bipa).”

ILENI NANDJATO

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