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Karas probe two executives over “stolen” N$10 million  

Staff Writer

The Karasburg Town Council is in the midst of investigating its suspended finance manager, Mervin Amupolo, and chief executive officer in connection with N$10 million allegedly diverted from the council’s bank accounts into private pockets.

This has been confirmed by the town council’s management committee chairperson, Maria Christine Veldskoen, who said the investigations are yet to be concluded.

She said that Amupolo is currently on suspension without a salary while the chief executive officer face charges of negligence and is on paid suspension.

“Yes, he (Amupolo) is on suspension without payment. We have not finalized the investigations yet. What I can inform you is that at the town council of Karasburg we suspended him on the 9th of June 2020 as the manager of finance due to the misappropriation of public funds from the town council bank accounts.”

“That’s all I can tell you now at this stage. We have not finalized the investigations yet. The CEO is suspended with payment. We suspended him for gross negligence. That’s all I can say now,” she said.

The LPM is in control of the Karasburg town council.

The party’s second in command, Henny Seibeb, said they were made aware of the suspensions, adding that Amupolo quit his job after the alleged misappropriation was sniffed out.

“Indeed, as a political party and as you rightly put it, we are governing the Karasburg constituency. So, what we have done is that once our local authority councilors together with the Auditor General (AG) realised and discovered that N$10 million was missing in 2018, we said this matter must be reported and people involved should be followed up on. Justice must be taken to apprehend them and look into the legal side and wait until the AG has exhausted whatever they have to do.”

“But this is a matter that is worrisome, as you know it did not occur yesterday or last year, it’s coming since 2018. In fact, some councilors are saying it must have happened since 2016 already. So, this is a big matter. We do not tolerate such things and we are just going to urge our local authority councilors there in Karasburg to impose concomitant action,” said Seibeb.

Part of that action is to withhold Amupolo’s pension funds and to pursue other avenues like criminal charges if found off-side, Seibeb said.

Seibeb also said the suspension of the CEO is connected to the scandal.

“So, some are saying it’s linked, that is why it’s now time for investigators to come and investigate, but part from that its also a contract issue with the CEO. I am just saying thanks to the current councilors that have realised that N$10 million has been missing,” he said.

In the meantime, Karas regional coordinator for the Swapo party, Matthew Mumbala, is on record decrying the status quo in the region saying the LPM is on a purging course of “hiring and firing”.

But Seibeb shot back at Mumbala.

“The issue is that Mr. Matthew Mumbala, part of his failed administration is because of the mess that he has caused in Keetmanshoop and Karasburg.  When Swapo was governing in Karasburg they would have detected the theft that was going on since 2018.”

“If they are happy with corruption, people sneaking themselves in and not there to appoint the right people, then so be it, they are used to corruption, incompetence and all those things like fish-rot,” he said.

Staff Writer

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