Namibia: Auditors trace N$6m payment to Swapo, money paid through fish-rot linked law firm

Mike Nghipunya [Image: courtesy]
The Namibian government is disputing former Fishcor Chief Executive Mike Nghipunya’s claim that fishing quota proceeds of more than N$81 million were paid to Swapo through the bank accounts of two law firms.

This emerged during the fourth day of Nghipunya’s bail hearing before judge Shafimana Ueitele in the Windhoek High Court on Friday.

Auditing firm Deloitte, which carried out a forensic investigation into the use of fishing quotas by the State-owned National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor), stated in a report date4d June 2021 that N$6 059 197 was paid from an account of the law firm De Klerk Horn Coetzee Incorporated (DHC) to Swapo.

With an amount of N$131 397 also paid to the party from an account of the company Celax Investment Number One, of which lawyer Maren de Klerk of DHC was the sole director, a total amount of N$619N was paid to Swapo from the accounts of the company and the law firm, Deloitte re4corded in its report.

Deputy prosecutor-general Cliff Lutebezi questioned Nghipunya on the findings in the report during cross-examination on Nghipunya’s fourth day of testifying in his bail hearing.

During his cross-examination, Lutebezi stated to Nghipunya that money generated from fishing quotas allocated through Fishcor and which Nghipunya said was destined for Swapo’s coffers was in fact diverted and ended up in accounts connected to co-accused of Nghipunya.

Lutibezi said in usage agreements which Fishcor concluded in respect of quotas allocated to it, it was stated that usage fees were to pay to Fishcor.

That however did not happen as only part of the usage fees were paid to the state-owned company and the rest was diverted to co-accused of Nghipunya, Lutibezi said.