Accused in Maltahöhe Village Council corruption case released on bail

28 Feb 2019 14:50pm
REHOBOTH, 28 FEB (NAMPA) – Five people arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Monday in connection with fraud and corruption at the Maltahöhe Village Council made their first appearance in the Mariental Regional Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Former Maltahöhe Village Council chief executive officer Eliphas Shipanga; Olavi Iita, financial adviser to the Urban and Rural Development Ministry’s executive director; former accountant Helius Kasera Tjiviya; former council chairperson Simon Haikwiyu and Marianna Pieters, an employee in the council’s human resources department, appeared before Magistrate Anna Katrina Kruger on charges of corruption.
The case was postponed to 25 March for plea and trial and for the accused to acquire legal representation.
According to the ACC charge sheet seen by this agency, the charges they face involve a N.dollars 90 900 swimming pool upgrading tender which had been awarded to Omusati Construction.
It is alleged that the construction company had been paid about N.dollars 709 000 for the tender with inflated payment invoices.
Iita, a former deputy director in the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, is allegedly the sole owner of Omusati Construction CC.
Further charges are that the suspects allegedly also inflated a tender amount for the creation of an SME business park at the village from N.dollars 500 000 to N.dollars 1.2 million, which was then awarded to Namibia Cleaning Chemicals.
Haikwiyu is also charged with misrepresenting the council in communication in June 2011 that had recommended and endorsed the appointment of Shipanga as its CEO.
The five accused were granted bail of N.dollars 5 000 each, which they paid. They were warned to appear in the court on the set date.
Prosecutor Thomas Iithula represented the State in the matter.