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Haingura Drags WB Municipal Council In N$1.5 Million Lawsuit

By:Staff Writer

Former Walvis Bay chief executive officer Muronga Haingura has dragged the Walvis Bay municipality council, former regional councilor Knowledge Ipinge and municipal employee relations officer Gertrude Usiku to court in a defamation law suit in which he isdemanding N$1.5 million in compensation over accusations that he misappropriated N$24 million meant for a government-fundedmass land servicing project.
The municipal council, Ipinge and Usiku have been listed as first, second and third defendants respectively in the matter and have been served with summonses by the lawyer.

Haingura is being represented by prominent lawyer Richard Metcalfe of Metcalfe Beukes Attorneys.

The former CEO has put it before court that the defendants ought to have known that the said amount was invested in a suspenseaccount of the municipality, but instead went on to tell the media that the money had disappeared under the CEO’s watch.

Due to this, Haingura has decried that the Namibian public widely learned of this allegation and exchanged their comments inthe public media generally on the assumption that he was a “dishonest”and “corrupt criminal”.

In his particulars of claim seen by this publication, Haingura submits that the municipality, Ipinge and Usiku acted withcommon purpose in tarnishing his name in mainstream media.

“The first defendant (WB municipality council) knew or ought to have known that the missing funds were in its suspense account.Despite such knowledge of opportunity for the first defendant to have established that the funds were not missing, the first
defendant failed to do anything to disabuse the public of such perception or to investigate the matter and to disclose that the funds were not missing. The aforesaid allegations were false to the knowledge of the defendants and/or the defendants
published them wrongfully and with animus iniurandi, alternatively wrongfully and negligently,” he said.

He has told the court that the defendants rejected Haingura’s explanation without any grounds or that they made the publications without any basis and were motivated by political gain.

Haingura also puts before the court that there may have been a failure of proper investigations into the allegations on the part of the defendants before responding to the media.

He said due to the allegations made against him, he has suffered damages to his reputation, emotional hurt and stress, injuria, anxiety andcontumelia, thus demanding compensation in the sum of N$1.5 million.
Three years ago, the Anti-Corruption Commission confiscated Haingura’s laptops and mobile phones including those of three other topofficials of the Walvis Bay municipality on suspicion that they may have played a part in the alleged disappearance of the N$24 million.

The other officials were general manager Augustinho Victor, housing and properties managerJack Manale and property clerk Connie Summers.

They were sent on forced leave to pave way for an ACC probe and were later recalled, while an audit report established that the said N$24millionwas not missing, but that various serious discrepancies in the execution of the project were unearthed.

Latest documents seen by The Villager show that Victor and Manale are scheduled for a disciplinary hearing come February as perthe audit report, although there is a dispute over who should be the independent presiding officer.

They are being represented by Metcalfe as well.

Staff Writer

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