The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Kashuupulwa Enrages Partners

OSHANA Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa and a business associate have further enraged former shareholders of their fishing company, who have complained about being ejected as partners.

Among issues lacking clarity are the shares held by at least three Lutheran parishes, the loss of ownership by four individuals and new wranglings within Oshana Marine Enterprises over an unallocated 42% stake.

Share certificates were promised, prepared and seemingly signed but not issued. Original founders say they do not know how they lost complete control of the company and some current ones feel they are being kept in the dark.

Some pastors at three Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) parishes say they were formally informed that their parishes would be shareholders but have heard nothing since.

"Tell the governor that we are still waiting for our shares," said one pastor.

The Namibian is in possession of incomplete share certificates of owners, including those of the churches that Fisheries Minister Bernhard Esau was scheduled to hand over last year but never did.

Oshana Marine Enterprises was among many companies which received seven-year fishing rights from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in 2011.

Facing accusations of improper conduct amid a struggle over the control of the company are Kashuupulwa and his business associate Abner Nambombola, who described himself as the mastermind behind setting up the business and acquiring fishing rights.

Four people claiming to have been the founders of Oshana Marine Enterprises together with Kashuupulwa in 2004 told The Namibian that they only realised after reading this newspaper's article on the internal squabbles at the firm that they had been dumped completely. Documents available to The Namibian show that Engelbert Ashipara had 12% ownership, Sesilia Ashivudhi 16%, Linekela Shipindo 12%. Petrus Amwaalwa 12%, Teulongelwa Mwatunga 12%, Kashuupulwa 12%, Williams Sheende 12% and Regina Iithete 12%.

The former shareholders allegedly gave up their stake on August 22 2010. According to the founding statement of the company Kashuupulwa is the only survivor from this group of shareholders.

The Oshana governor has refused to respond to detailed questions sent to him, and instead threatened to take legal action against The Namibian. "Please don't call me again," he said yesterday.

Businessman and veteran radio personality Linekela Shipindo is one of the disgruntled founding partners who insists that he never gave up his share of the company.

Of the six founding partners, three confirmed on the record to The Namibian that they did not sign any document to cease their partnership. A fourth said he is seeking legal advice on what to do next.

"We dedicated our time and money, just to be thrown out without our consent," Shipindo said.

He said he had several conversations with Kashuupulwa in the past years, and the governor assured him that everything was all right and they were just "sorting few things out".

Ashipara also refuted claims that he had quit the company, saying he never signed any document to that effect.

Another shareholder who preferred anonymity said: "Nambombola should tell the truth, we never resigned," adding that he signed some papers without being told what his signature was for.

About eight months after some shareholders were ousted as owners, Oshana Marine Enterprises changed from being a close corporation to a limited liability company in August 25 2011.

The new shareholders are Otjozondjupa Governor Samuel Nuuyoma with 5% shares, Nambombola with 15%, David Nghipunduka with 8%, Kashuupulwa with 7%, Josephat Sinvula, Robanus Amadhila and Blasius Kandjumbi with 5% each and Lidwine Tuyeni with 7%.

Asked to comment on the latest accusations, Nambombola, who was in South Africa last week, said he would respond when back in the country with regard to what happened to the six founding partners.

On Saturday he said he had decided to take legal action against The Namibian.

Nambombola called this reporter at 21h00 on Saturday, challenging the journalist to a fight and legal actions after persistent questions. "I will take care of you physically if that is what you want," he said.

He confirmed that he had received the written questions, but only said "there are reasons" why the founding partners are not shareholders anymore.

Kashuupulwa and Nambombola were vague about the current shareholders' queries regarding the unallocated 42% shares, after the allocation of 58% shares to seven shareholders.

Nambombola said the 42% is used for "daily operations" of the company but would give no further details. Speculation is that some of the 42% was meant for corporate social responsibility.

Nambombola earlier told The Namibian that the proposal to give shares to parishes in the Oshana Region was objected to by other shareholders.

He said Oshana Marine Enterprises stopped its social responsibility plans after the ministry grouped fishing companies into joint ventures.

A tug-of-war over shares pitting governors Kashuupulwa and Nuuyoma intensified after money was paid to companies for selling their fishing quotas.

Nambombola believes his fellow shareholders are disgruntled because their expectations were too high. Oshana Marine received dividends of N$709 000 and N$600 000 respectively in the past two years, whereas some thought the company had received N$6 million for its fishing quotas.

Oshana Marine Ownership Timeline

2004 Founding members

Engelbert Ashipara, Sesilia Ashivudhi, Linekela Shipindo, Petrus Amwaalwa, Teulongelwa Mwatunga, Clemens Kashuupulwa, Williams Sheende and Regina Iithete.

2011

Clemens Kashuupulwa, Samuel Nuuyoma, Abner Nambombola, David Nghipunduka, Josephat Sinvula, Robanus Amadhila and Blasius Kandjumbi and Lidwine Tuyeni.

2012 [According to share certificates]

Clemens Kashuupulwa, Samuel Nuuyoma, Abner Nambombola, David Nghipunduka, Josephat Sinvula, Lidwine Tuyeni, Robanus Amadhila, Blasius Kandjumbi, Pudentian Herman, Risto Junias, Petrus Amwaalwa, Oniimwandi Elcin Parish, Elim Elcin Parish and Iipanda Yaamiti Elcin Parish.

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