Monday 14 June 2021
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Adjovi caught us napping

Mathias Haufiku

True to the preachings of the bible that warns us to be ready at all times for the coming of the Messiah, so must we be ready for those who come under the pretense of goodwill and pounce as soon as we close our eyes at night.
Ernest Adjovi did just that when he silently came to Namibia and vanished with our money.
I must say when millions goes missing from State coffers without anyone being able to trace the funds, makes one wonder how safe our money is in this country. Or is Senior Adjovi that smart.
I call him Senior Adjovi because he did to government what many struggle to do.
It is beyond my comprehension that so much money can go missing without anyone picking it up, after all, I know how cumbersome it is to get money owed to you by the State. Be it tax or any business transaction you made with the State, getting that money is an uphill battle.
Thanks to Ernest Adjovi and his unknown cronies, crooks will now start devising schemes to milk the State.
We can deny all we want, but there’s no way Adjovi got his hands on that N$23.5 million without inside help from our own Namibian brothers and sisters-I can bet my life on it.
Accountability and transparency has been the buzz words in this administration, but if it so easy to bypass systems then we need to delete those terms from our vocabularies.
ACC says they have cleared Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta because he answered all the questions they asked him, but it is beyond my understanding how ACC always question senior officials before conducting an investigation while junior public servants are investigated right away, sometimes even locked up while the investigations are underway.
Do not get me wrong, I respect the mandate given to ACC, after all we need a corruption free society so that those who acquire wealth can do so legitimately. But ACC has a long way to go if it wants to gain the hearts of the public.
I would have thought the questions ACC asked Shifeta should have been investigated by themselves, clearly I was wrong. Only in Namibia do you ask a suspect to provide answers to a crime he is alleged to have committed.
We know Shifeta had nothing but the best interests for Namibia when he embarked on the journey to bring the Kora Awards to Namibia, but there are just some procedures that can never be sidestepped.
Whatever happened to background checks when doing business with, especially when it involves someone with a questionable reputation?
It is a pity that Shifeta has to take the blame for this financial catastrophe, after all the National Tourism Board must own up and stand by its deal and recover the money the same way they lost it.
Is it safe to say that NTB conducted a ghost transaction? Yes.
The N$23.5 million could have been used to build a school or buy textbooks for our future leaders, and now we hear we are N$23.5 million poorer.
Media reports have it that NTB is dragging Adjovi’s company to court, but since no one seems to know where the man is, where will the summons be served to? Questions that need answers.
It perplexes me to know Government is taking such a relaxed approach on this issue, how is it possible that senior government officials are quiet and no one is making noise to recover the money the way they advocate for a new parliament.
It is unfair upon the electorate to have leaders who are only vocal when it suits them, but when it comes to what suits the electorate, the comrades hide behind the dark windows of their Mercedes Benz, BMW and Toyotas.
Now that we know Shifeta is off the hook with ACC, not that we expected a different outcome, we turn our focus to NTB. Whether the money is recovered or not, a thorough probe must be conducted to determine how the money was swindled out of the NTB coffers without all precautionary measures being put in place.
Whenever locals get a state contract, they are required to complete a certain portion of the job before being paid part of the contract value, is this only applicable to Namibians?
Without coming across as an advocate of xenophobia, the nation needs to know why a foreign private business entity was given money for a job it has not done?
Or does this mean this was only a portion of the total contract value? If yes, please tell us how much Senior Adjovi was supposed to pocket after the event. Namibians are used to having millions, if not billions, spend without justification but in this case we just want to know what the entire Kora budget was.
As a transparent and accountable government, Namibians are waiting anxiously for a positive outcome when the search for the missing money ends.
After all, N$23.5 million divided by a population of 2.1 million equals at least N$11 for each Namibian, enough to buy a loaf of bread.
Moving on, it is my hope that those tasked with handling State funds learned a lesson from the Adjovi saga, do not be caught with your pants below your knees again.

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