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By: Justicia Shipena 

Fishrot accused Phillipus Mwapopi refused to comment on questions posed to him by State advocate Cliff Lutibezi in his bail hearing on Monday. 

Mwapopi, one of the ten suspects in the Fishrot corruption saga, stressed that he needed more facts to respond.

Under cross-examination, Mwapopi informed the court that he had known Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya in a ‘social setting’. 

However, he could not respond whether they had a personal relationship with Nghipunya or not.

Mwaapopi told the court that he never had any business discussion with the former Fishcor CEO. He also refused to comment whether he had shared any personal details with Nghipunya.

Mwapopi further told the court that the allegations against him resulted from a misunderstanding. 

“I don’t see anything that might take me to jail,” he testified. 

Mwapopi stands accused of having received N$4,2 million to deliver dried fish to Fishcor for a drought relief programme, which according to Lutibezi, was never delivered in June 2016.

He faces charges of fraud, racketeering, money laundering and theft. 

Thus he could also not answer on the invoices issued by his company, Wanakadu investment. 

“Whatever Fishcor did with that fish, I don’t know, but the programme is called drought relief,” he said.

Lutibezi then asked him his understanding of the fish drought relief and why he provided it to Fishcor. 

He responded, “The understanding is to give them to relief drought by donating them to the public.”

Lutibezi then interjected, saying, “for them to eat?” And Mwaapopi agreed and added that some individuals sold the dried fish. 

“The people when they get this food, they sell there. But me coming from the community, I have seen people selling this relief food.

“They are edible. They are very delicious, I must say.” 

He also said he has no relationship with his co-accused James Hatuikulipi, although he had used Tamson Hatuikulipi’s truck at some point. 

When asked why he had not handed himself over to the police when the media ran the story about him being sought, Mwapopi said no one informed him about his arrest warrant. 

“A friend of mine sent me an article from a newspaper. I’m not a fan of newspapers, and all I heard is that people are looking for me,” he said.

He had previously expressed that he is limited to mobilise resources to prove his case. 

“I don’t have the same resources the State has to defend myself. I don’t have the liberty to mobilise my resources for my defence,” he said.

Last year, Mwapopi also revealed that he is a current PhD student. 

The Windhoek City Police officer has a 100% interest in Wanakadu is the only member. 

Mwapopi has been in custody since his arrest in December 2020.

In this vein, he offered to pay a deposit of N$62 000 for his bail. 

His bail hearing continues in the Windhoek High Court tomorrow.

Justicia Shipena

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