FORMER Outjo town treasurer Dawid Koen must pay back more than N$1,9 million to the Outjo Municipality, it was ordered in the High Court in Windhoek yesterday.
With Koen not continuing to defend a civil claim which his former employer lodged against him and his former wife, Wanda Estelle Koen, in September 2010, Acting Judge Collins Parker granted the municipality judgement against Koen in a total amount of just over N$1,904 million.
Koen and his ex-wife, who were married in community of property, had been defending the municipal council's legal action against them, but their legal representative recently withdrew from their case.
In a plea that their lawyer previously filed on their behalf, they denied all of the allegations of theft and misappropriation that the municipality was making against Koen in its claim.
Koen is also facing criminal charges, consisting of 112 counts of fraud, alternatively theft, and counts of arson and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, in the High Court.
In the civil case, the municipality claimed that during the period from March 5 2007 to August 17 2009, while Koen was employed as its strategic executive officer for finance and administration, he failed to deposit all of the money which the municipality received as payments from its clients in the municipal bank account.
The Office of the Auditor General has informed the Outjo Municipality after carrying out an audit of the municipal books that from the 2006/07 financial year up to August 17 2009 a total amount of N$1,742 million which should have been deposited in the municipal bank account was not banked.
The municipality was also claiming that Koen owes it a further N$162 411, made up of personal purchases of Koen which had been made with municipal orders and were never deducted from his salary, and other expenses of Koen's that were paid with municipal funds and were never deducted from his salary, it was claimed.
In the criminal case that is pending against Koen, the prosecution is alleging that he set the offices of the Outjo Municipality on fire on August 17 2009 in an attempt to conceal or destroy evidence of fraud and the theft of money from the municipality.
It is further being alleged that Koen defrauded the municipality by not depositing money which been paid to the local authority as payment for rates and water, electricity and other municipal services into the municipality's bank account.
It is alleged that Koen did not deposit cash received by the municipality into its bank account, but only deposited cheques received by it. This happened between March 5 2007 and August 17 2009, the prosecution is charging in its indictment.
Koen defrauded the municipality of a total amount of more than N$1,74 million, it is also alleged in the criminal case.
Koen resigned from his job with the municipality at the end of January 2010, while disciplinary proceedings against him were pending.
He is due to make another pre-trial appearance in the High Court on September 24, and remains free on bail in the meantime.