Kora - a tale of too many versions

28 October 2019 | Opinion

The dust around the Kora music awards refuses to settle, as new versions of what supposedly transpired keep surfacing.

The latest to throw the cat among the pigeons was former attorney-general Sacky Shangala, now justice minister, who caught everyone by surprise last week when he said that contrary to popular belief, he did not sign any agreement authorising the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) to pay N$23.4 million to Kora kingpin Ernst Adjovi.

The line of argument has all along been that it was the agreement by Shanghala as attorney-general that triggered the series of payments by NTB into Adjovi’s pockets. Shanghala denied this in a statement released on Thursday night.

Shanghala did not pull punches in his statement, in which he claims misinformation and character assassination are being peddled for political gains. He did not explain this.

A fortnight ago, President Hage Geingob rejected claims that he had been central to the deal. Responding to Namibian Sun questions, the head of state said he supported the hosting of the controversial award show in Namibia, but distanced himself from the manner the millions were lost.

In the meantime, NTB is suing Adjovi for the lost money. This means they too do not believe they are in the wrong as far as this transaction and the overall decision to associate with Adjovi is concerned.

As matters stand, no one is taking responsibility for what has happened. Yet Adjovi, in court papers, is pleading innocence too, saying Geingob, Shanghala and NTB all were well aware of what was happening and had endorsed everything.

Shanghala, rather startlingly, said NTB should report this as a “loss” to treasury – presumably for audit purposes. He then suggested that instead of “wasting time to save face” with the ongoing court case, NTB must rather save itself legal costs and pursue Adjovi outside of court for a safe return of the money.

The fact that this matter was held in camera in court tells us that this scandal is bigger than we initially thought. Way bigger!

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