Namibia: Prison Chief Suspended Over Fishrot Accused

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The Namibian Correctional Service has suspended the Windhoek Correctional Facility security chief amid allegations of special treatment for the Fishrot accused.

Namibian Correctional Service (NCS) deputy commissioner-general Tuhafeni Hangula confirmed to The Namibian on Wednesday the Windhoek Correctional Facility's head of security, Albinus Mosimane, was suspended on 1 April without pay.

Hangula said they would soon issue a statement on the suspension and are investigating the matter.

"It is too early to say much, but I can confirm the suspension," he said.

Mosimane has been suspended after two cellphones were found in the cells of former Investec Namibia managing director James Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelulo.

Mosimane was removed for "acting suspiciously" during a raid of the cells led by Hangula on 29 March.

Mosimane declined to comment when approached yesterday saying the matter is under investigation.

Sources said he has, in the past, refused advances of some of the Fishrot accused.

Mosimane referred further questions to his attorney.

Jefta Tjitemisa, his legal representative, told The Namibian allegations against his client do not make sense.

"It is clear they want my client to be removed from the position of head of security at the Windhoek Correctional Facility because he is an honest man who does not take bribes from anyone," Tjitemisa said.

He added they are ready to face charges and refute allegations.

"All we have currently is a suspension letter," Tjitemisa said.

Sources believe the allegations against Mosimane are part of a plot to get rid of him.

"Normally when a raid or a search takes place in the cells, the head of security must initiate it or give the go-ahead," a source said.

The Namibian also spoke to a former inmate who was released nine months ago after serving four years in prison. He said Mosimane is one of a few honest people at the correctional facility and is probably being framed.

"Ask anyone about Mosimane, he is a fair man, but very strict. He does everything to the book. There is something very fishy," the former inmate said.

Seven Fishrot accused are currently in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.

This includes James Hatuikulipi and his relatives Mwatelulo and Tamson Hatuikulipi.

The others are former Cabinet members Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala, former senior Investec Namibia employee Ricardo Gustavo and suspended National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) chief executive Mike Nghipunya.

They face corruption charges related to the allocation of Namibian fishing quotas worth millions of dollars.

The current lockdown regulations restrict visits to those in custody.

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