Saturday 17 April 2021
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CEO settles mass housing bill from road fund

Documents in The Patriot’s possession show that RFA received a half a billion dollar loan partly from the German Development Bank KfW to the tune of N$482 million to make outstanding payments to road contractors, but that some of the funds were used to mass housing outfit Limbadungila Investments CC the amount of N$1.56 million in March last year.
Available to The Patriot is the statement for the ministry of works which lists the project and company names, payment date and amount paid. An amount of N$ 865 117, 38 is settled as a payment for the Swakopmund-Henties Bay- Uis-Kamanjab road to Limbadungila Investments, a company directly linked to the Chief Executive Officer of Road Administration Fund (RFA), Ali Iipinge. A further amount of N$ 700 000 is paid on 8 March 2018, also citing the same detail.
Limbadungila Investments CC which is owned by Indian-born Shoaib Ali Mohammed Latif, is a company from which Iipinge resigned in August 2014 but then Iipinge partnered with Latif on two other businesses as a shareholder namely Lim Investments CC and A.S.S Investments Fifty Five CC where he owns a fifty (50) percent stake and thirty three and a half (33.50) percent shares respectively. In an amended founding statement Iipinge assumes shareholding on 14 April 2015.
Both companies appear on Iipinge’s official record of interest lodged with the RFA Board of Directors.
When contacted for comment, at first Iipinge claimed that he does not know Latif and that he does not do business with him but later confirmed that he does in fact know Latif.
During a lengthy telephonic interview, Iipinge states that since he had already resigned from the company at the time of the payment, he was not in the position to comment on the matter.
RCC signed an agreement in November 2016 with Limbadungila Investments CC to hire machinery to the amount of N$2.7 million which RCC could not pay until the time RCC went bankrupt in 2018.
Limbadungila Investments CC subsequently sued RCC for more than N$2 365 270.98 accrued from late payments. That matter was struck off the court role on the 24th April 2018 with both parties ordered to pay their own costs.
RCC was using the machineries at Goreangab Extension 4 where it was awarded a multi-million dollar contract to service land under the Mass Urban Land Servicing Project.
Asked about the matter on Wednesday this week, Iipinge said he does not know anything about the payments, “I resigned (from Limbadungila) before I joined RFA. I am not in the know [about the payments] and I don’t have any business interests with that gentleman.”
Asked whether he will launch an investigation into the payments, since he does not know about it, Iipinge had this to say; “I don’t investigate things that I don’t know, unless maybe you tell me the name of the person who gave you the documents you are referring to.
There was a request from government for RFA to pay road contractors for outstanding amounts and we paid N$500 million but no single RCC housing project was paid for.
I am not aware if RCC had a housing project. It’s better to ask RCC whether their housing projects were paid for by RFA or not,” he said.
When asked whether he doesn’t have signing authority on the accounts of RFA, Iipinge responded by stating that ‘ payments are processed by finance department and approved at various levels within the organisation.
We process payment in excess of N$ 160 million monthly to hundreds accounts or beneficiers. A source who cited anonomity informed The Patriot that Iipinge defended the payments saying that they were for the Swakopmund-Henties Bay-Uis-Kamanjab road which is currently being upgraded at the cost of more than N$900 million.
The statement substantiates this claim.
Asked what his ministry would do in an event where a Chief Executive Officer does something like this, Public Enterprises Minister Leon Jooste said something like that had not been reported to him.
“In a case like this, we will make use of the provisions of the Public Enterprises Governance Act and launch a special investigation.
The outcome of that will guide our actions as appropriate.
If any form of corruption is alleged we shall refer it to the ACC for further processing,” he added.
Penda Ithindi, RFA Chairperson of the Board states that he was unaware of the matter however “if there is alleged impropriety, the board will not fail it its governance obligation to have an objective enquiry into such alleged impropriety.’
John Mutorwa, Minister of Works and Transport had not responded to questions put to him at the time of going to print.

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