Namibia: Nida Boss Rubbishes Corruption Claims

7 August 2020

Namibia Industrial Development Agency (Nida) executive director Uparura Kuvare has denied allegations of corruption, describing the claims made by staff as a fabrication of lies and incorrect realities.

He also said the "unfounded accusations are coupled with mischievous character defamation of the agency directors".

This follows after industrialisation minister Lucia Iipumbu said her ministry, together with the public enterprises ministry, was investigating allegations made against the Nida management.

Staff members at the newly created government-owned agency alleged mismanagement, corrupt practices and siphoning of funds totalling millions of dollars by what they call unlawfully appointed officials.

However, Kuvare dismissed the allegations yesterday during a media briefing. He said there exists a firm view that there are grounds for a wider investigation of the forces behind the recurrent allegations towards the work of two selected law firms (Kangueehi & Kavendjii Incorporated and Tjituri Law Chambers) out of the 13 law firms currently contracted by Nida.

He stated that it is untrue, false and a fabrication of lies that the two firms were contracted at N$417 401 to specifically handle staff disciplinary cases for theft of milk and meat worth N$15 000.

He also denied claims that he was involved in the recruitment process of a substantive executive director.

Kuvare further clarified allegations that 700 cattle disappeared at a Nida-owned farm, as per the anonymous staff complaint, saying they are false and untrue.

"Board approved the sales of 2 500 head of cattle to abattoirs for the financial year 2019/20. By the end of the financial year, only 2 240 cattle were marketed. To date, only 723 cattle were marketed in the 2020/21 financial year with only 70 mortalities over the four months due to improved loss control measures and best farming practices employed. Notwithstanding that hundreds of losses were often recorded, such as the 900 cattle in 2018," he said.

Kuvare said over the past four months, Nida instituted nine internal investigations, ranging from allegations related to corruption, sex-for-work, theft, entitlement and lawlessness.

"Nida has successfully recovered millions from improper benefits by staff and outsiders, and today the same corrupt accomplices often hiding as 'anonymous employees' are diverting these successes and further probe for redress," he said.

- mndjavera@nepc.com.na

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