Windhoek-based prominent businesswoman Esther Akwaake is fighting to recover N$350 000 she invested in a health business.
Akwaake (59), a former chairperson of NamWater and director of New Vision Consultancy CC, dragged Charlotte Uuyamba to the High Court on 7 February 2018 in a bid to recover the investment she made into the Point of Life Health Centre last year.
Akwaake told The Namibian last week that Uuyamba's friend Monica Pendukeni introduced her after complaining of health problems. Point of Life Healthcare sells natural supplements.
She then visited Uuyamba's office and bought supplements worth N$20 000.
Akwaake alleges that Uuyamba sweet-talked her into investing into Point of Life, promising her handsome returns of up to N$500 000 a month.
"I thought it was a good opportunity and decided to invest part of my pension," she said.
Pendukeni denied introducing Akwaake to Uuyamba, saying: "I only advised her to purchase the supplements, nothing else."
According to their agreement, Akwaake was supposed to invest N$1,4 million to acquire a 50% share.
She only put in N$350 000 because she wanted to test the water before she could fully commit.
Akwaake said when she requested for the company's financial statements, she discovered that the business was not viable. She then demanded that Uuyamba return her money.
When Uuyamba refused, Akwaake opened a case of theft under false pretence in February, claiming she was blindly led into the deal.
The Windhoek City Police arrested Uuyamba on 7 February. Uuyamba, confirmed she was arrested but released the following day.
Akwaake also approached her lawyers, threatening legal action.
"We are instructed to demand that you refund our client the said amount within seven days from the date of receipt of this letter, failing which we are instructed to institute legal proceedings against you," reads a letter from Akwaake's lawyers AngulaCo.Incorporated dated 7 December.
Uuyamba said that this was followed by a court summons, but she did not appear in court after reaching an out of court agreement.
"We agreed that I would repay the money by September. I do not know why she is going to press with this," said Uuyamba.
Uuyamba said she did not force Akwaake into doing business with her.
"I had warned her that I needed a business partner who would invest the full N$1,4 million for the business to prosper. She only paid a portion of that amount.
"She kept saying she will pay the outstanding amount soon. I waited for months. As a result, I had to close down my business because there were no funds," Uuyamba said.
She admitted that she paid the N$300 000 to a Danish man she owed money and whom she had worked for for six years.
"In 2016, my boss decided to return to Denmark. I then bought Point of Life Centre from him for N$1,8 million. I only paid him N$1,5 million which left me penniless and was looking for a business partner so I could pay the outstanding amount (N$300 000).
That is when Akwaake approached me saying she wanted us to be partners," she said.