7 March 2018

Namibia: Bipa Suspends CEO

The chief executive officer of the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (Bipa), Tileinge Andima, has been suspended, pending an investigation into the multimillion-dollar purchase of a building in Katutura.

The building, situated in the Wanaheda area of Katutura, was reportedly renovated for N$11 million after being bought for N$18 million, and is now being used as the Bipa head office, which handles the registration of businesses and intellectual property rights in Namibia.

Bipa chairperson Riundja Kaakunga confirmed the suspension of Andima with full pay was decided last Friday at a board meeting.

Kaakunga said Andima was suspended to allow independent investigators to look into the purchase of the building in Wanaheda.

The weekly Windhoek Observer last year reported that Andima was a relative of the building's previous owner, and also that the deal happened without board approval.

Former minister of trade and industrialisation, Immanuel Ngatjizeko, was quoted by the weekly as having had no idea about the purchase of the building.

The trade ministry's permanent secretary, Gabriel Sinimbo, on Monday said he was not aware of Andima's suspension as he had been in meetings all day.

Sinimbo was allegedly also involved in the purchase of the building.

When asked how long Andima's suspension would last, Kaakunga referred to the labour law, and also Bipa's code of ethics: "We hope the investigations will be concluded within a month".

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