Wasn't me – Shanghala on Kora
28 October 2019 | Justice
He denies that an agreement he had drafted led to the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) advancing N$23.4 million to Ernst Adjovi's Telecom Mundial, which promised to host the controversial Kora music awards in Namibia in 2015 and then in 2016.
The awards never took place and NTB is now suing Adjovi in the High Court, seeking an order for the West African businessman to return the money he had accepted in return for marketing Namibia during the supposed music
Startlingly, Shanghala, a trained lawyer, said efforts to pursue Adjovi in court were “nothing but a waste of time to save face and create the impression that effort was made yet without realisable assets in this jurisdiction to be able to actually recover the money.”
Shanghala was the country's attorney-general at the time.
“I had hoped I would not have to resort to defend myself in the media when fellow comrades ought to state the truth and not peddle misinformation for their political gains or engage in character assassinations to deflect from their human errors,” the minister said last
“Yet due to the intensity with which these stories are being spun, I have been left with no choice but to put some perspective to them. Firstly, I only became involved in Kora towards its dwindling, final moments. It is simply not true that the agreement was crafted by the attorney-general.”
“As a matter of fact, Mr Adjovi was represented by a host of lawyers, one being Ms Shilengudua at the time while the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) was represented by Mr Kangueehi, an acting judge.
“These are attorneys of repute, more than capable of drafting and negotiating agreements on behalf of their clients in accordance with the instructions of their clients.”
Shanghala says he attended only two meetings pertaining to the Kora awards, in his capacity as attorney-general at the time.
One such meeting was with the NTB, its lawyer and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta. At this meeting, it was revealed that NTB had already paid the money to the Kora organisers. It was not clear what agreement NTB relied upon to make payment.
“I proclaimed, after having heard that monies were paid in advance and the show would not materialise (as it factually did not), that that the money was gone, and that if I were the NTB, I would accept that and approach Treasury to report it as a loss.
“I suggested, therefore, that one could engage the proprietors of the Kora awards ceremony to return monies paid thereby settling the matter. I held the view then, and still do now, that trying to recover those amounts may well cost nearly similar quantities given the exchange rates, in legal fees on the continent of Europe.”
“I am not the one who directed that payment be made in advance and it would be prudent for all involved to take responsibility for their own deeds,” Shanghala said.