By Staff Reporter
The Patriot has learnt that the Road Fund Administration (RFA) has appointed Forensic Audit Firm Ernst and Young to investigate dubious payments made to a company associated to its CEO Mr Ali Ipinge.
The Patriot Newspaper reported on 1 March that Mr Ipinge authorised payments of N$1,565,117.38 during February 2018 to Limbandungila Investments CC, a close corporation that he founded in 2004.
Limbandungila leased various plant and equipment to the Road Contractor Company (RCC), which was utilised for the Mass Land Service Program at Goreangab Dam in Windhoek during 2017. Ipinge allegedly intercepted and redirected payments that were due for RCC for Road Works on the Henties Uis Kamanjab Road meant for itself and its contractors on that road. It is alleged that Ipinge instructed the RFA Finance Department to pay some of the funds directly to Limbandungila.
This was done despite him having knowledge that Limbandungila was not a subcontractor on the road in question, but rather for the Land Servicing program at Goreangab Dam. After failure to pay for the services Limbandungila Director Joseph Ze Figura sued the RCC for N$2,365,270. A search on the E-Justice system of the Ministry of Justice confirmed that Case # HC-MD-CIV-ACT-CON-2018/00303 was registered with the High Court of Namibia. This matter was withdrawn and an order was issued around the time the RFA made the dubious payments.
The funds for the payment to Limbandungila came from an Overdraft Facility of N$500 million that the RFA secured on behalf of the Ministry of Finance.
When contacted for comment, the Chairperson of the RFA Board Penda Ithindi requested for a face to face meeting, three weeks after making the enquiry in regards the forensic audit.Suspended CFO called in to give evidence on the investigation Meanwhile, The Patriot has learnt upon enquiry via the switchboard of the RFA that George Itembu, RFA’s Chief Financial Officer(CFO) remains on suspension. A source who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that the RFA’s Suspended CFO was called in to testify in the investigation at the RFA head office, located in Feld Street Auspannplatz during the course of last week.
The source confided that Itembu was locked in closed doors with Ernst & Young in one of the boardrooms with regards to the investigation. When contacted for confirmation of the visit to the RFA, Itembu declined to comment citing confidentiality.
He further said that this reporter should contact the RFA or its Board. When he was asked about his suspension, Itembu confirmed his suspension but had no further comment.
Itembu has been on suspension since October 2018 on a host of charges. When contacted for comment Ernst & Young refused to shed light on the forensic audit.
“Sir I will not give you my name and we do not speak to the media about our appointments,” said an Ernst and Young official.