12 July 2018

Namibia: Noa Questions State Insurance Boss

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has asked the management of the state-owned Namibia National Reinsurance Corporation (NamibRe) to explain various allegations of corruption levelled against the organisation.

Documents seen by The Namibian show that ACC director general Paulus Noa wrote to NamibRe's managing director, Patty Karuaihe-Martin, on 2 July 2018, asking her to respond to questions related to the allegations.

Noa confirmed to The Namibian yesterday that he wrote the letter to NamibRe, a parastatal which provides insurance to private insurance companies as a form of risk management.

"I shall not disclose the talks now since they have to respond to the listed issues for the commission to decide on further investigations," he said.

Noa asked Karuaihe-Martin to answer 23 questions, saying in the letter that "the commission received complaints in respect of alleged exorbitant spending, travelling and favouritism in appointments and envisaged appointments".

The questions include a query about a catering tender issued by the parastatal.

"Comment on allegation(s) that the sister of the managing director was involved in catering, and whether adequate steps were taken to mitigate possible conflict of interest," Noa urged.

He also requested that she provides a detailed breakdown of all trips undertaken by NamibRe's senior management over the last two years, including the costs involved.

Noa furthermore asked the MD to explain the cost-cutting measures she has put in place at NamibRe to prevent unnecessary travel by officials.

"Indicate as to whether any expenses were incurred that had to be carried by NamibRe in relation to family members who accompanied senior management on official duties," the anti-graft boss asked.

The ACC also requested that Karuaihe-Martin provides a breakdown of leave taken by senior managers over the past two years.

This information, Noa said, should be accompanied by documentary proof.

The ACC likewise requested information of acting allowances paid over the last two financial years, and the positions involved.

Additionally, he asked Karuaihe-Martin to provide the ACC with a list of NamibRe officials who received Apple iPads and watches.

"Please provide the relevant motivation for the purchases. Specifically indicate as to the need for a secretary to be issued with such equipment (if this is indeed the case)," he stated.

Furthermore, the ACC asked the MD to explain whether the parastatal budgeted for attending marathon competitions, and what the organisational policy says about this type of spending.

Noa also requested that Karuaihe-Martin confirm whether she used the company's credit card, what the spending limit is of the card, and whether the card was used by any other person.

Karuaihe-Martin, who was responding on behalf of the board, confirmed to The Namibian yesterday that she had received the letter from the ACC.

"The board is dealing with this matter, and has tasked the audit, risk and compliance committee to look into the allegations. Upon finalisation, a report will be made available to the relevant authorities," she said.

She declined to comment further.

People close to Karuaihe-Martin said she suspects there are people out to taint her image with the allegations.

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