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Bulk fuel storage tender nets Hungamo and lawyer Nghaamwa

Sat, 13 May 2017 06:52
by The Villager Reporters
News Flash

Some of the people – Leevi Hungamo and a lawyer Chris Nghaamwa – involved in the messy bulk fuel storage tender have been charged. Chris Nghaamwa is the chief legal adviser at the Office of the Attorney General.

The bulk fuel storage project is being built by CRB, a joint venture of China Harbour Construction Company, the Roads Contractor Company and Babyface Civils that is owned by Vaino Nghipondoka.

The Villager could not establish the nature of the charges that have been preferred on Hungamo and Nghaamwa, who is with the attorney general’s offi ce. The preference of charges comes about eight months after the attorney general Sackey Shanghala recommended to Cabinet that some of those involved in the tender that has cost the government an arm and a leg should be charged. Although the initial charges drawn up by Shanghala targeted Hungamo, who is the National Planning Commission permanent secretary, and the now retired former mines ministry permanent secretary Kahijoro Kahuure.

Shanghala had also asked the Anti-Corruption Commission to charge China Harbour, Babyface Civils and Nghipondoka. The Secretary to Cabinet, George Simataa was asked to start the proceedings but he could not do so, saying that he needed a second opinion. The Villager understands that Simataa hired state lawyer Unomuinjo Katjipuka to draft new charges.

Simataa could not confi rm hiring Katjipuka although he said the issue was of an internal administrative nature. “I have to inform you those are internal administrative matters that I am not at liberty to discuss with the media at this stage,” Simataa said. Although Katjipuka could not say much about the investigation, The Villager understands that her charges are way different from those initially drawn up by Shanghala. “This investigation seems to be the worst kept secret ever.

Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to speak about the investigation or my fi ndings. All I can say is that whatever I recommended and any charges I may have recommended would have been the result of my investigation. I am sorry I cannot be more specifi c,” she said.

The National Planning minister Tom Alweendo wrote to Hungamo on 6 March 2017 asking him to explain the accusations of exposing the government to foreign currency fl uctuations. Neither Alweendo nor Hungamo have been at liberty to say what the situation is like now. This week, Alweendo said although he received Hungamo’s response, his offi ce does not undertake any investigations.

‘What I did is to request Mr Hungamo to explain himself to me in view of what was in the media with regard to his role in the matter – and he did respond to me. “It is also the case that Cabinet took a decision that the attorney general should prepare charges against the offi cials suspected to have done something wrong in the implementation of the project.

“The attorney general did prepare the charges except that when it comes to permanent secretaries it is only the Cabinet Secretary who can charge them,” Alweendo said. Hungamo could neither confi rm nor deny that he had received the letter informing him of the charges. “Mr Simataa is my superior. You have spoken to him so you should not doubt what he told you,” he said.

He also shot down rumours of him considering retiring from public service. “So far can still confi rm that I am still the Permanent Secretary of National Planning Commission and I am not about to retire.