Namibia: The Kora Blame Game Continues

25 November 2019

Windhoek — The inability to acquire sufficient funds resulted in the cancellation of the Kora All-Africa Music Awards in 2016.

This is according to Mundial Telecom, the company owned by controversial initiator of the awards Ernst Adjovi. The company claimed in a statement last week that it needed around N$103.1 and N$147.3 million to host the event.

However, only an amount of US$1,5 million (N$22 million) was raised, which resulted in the event being cancelled two weeks prior to the date the event was scheduled to take place. The organisation blamed the Namibian government for not pulling their weight as per agreement entered to by the parties.

"Despite the commitment given by the Namibian government and its related ministries, it failed to support the event by failing to raise or assist in raising the required funds for the Kora Awards ceremony to take place," the statement read.

Mundial Telecom is currently embroiled in a court case in Windhoek High Court with the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) after (NTB) filed a lawsuit against Mundial Telecom in 2016 in an attempt to recover more than N$22.7 million that was to be spent on hosting the award show in 2016. In papers filed in the Windhoek High Court, NTB CEO Digu //Naobeb detailed the breakdown of payments of over N$23 million paid to Mundial Telecom.

In his witness statement, //Naobeb indicated that NTB first paid the Adjovi-owned company N$5 million on 22 December 2015, and a further N$5 million the next day.

On January 7, 2016, an amount of N$5 million was paid to Mundial Telecom. A final payment of about N$8.5 million was paid on February 17, 2016 - just weeks before Namibia was scheduled to host the awards ceremony on March 20, 2016. The statement indicates that the money that was raised was used to pay debtors.

The case will be on the court roll on 27 April 2020 for a hearing, after the parties failed to reach a settlement out of court. In his defence, Adjovi claimed his local partner's failure to secure the required waiver to pay import duties or VAT to enable them to bring the equipment for the awards led to the breaching of the contract.

Adjovi also claimed that NTB made late payments, which resulted in them not being able to comply with its obligations timeously.

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