Eba Kandovazu

AS if the allegations of embezzling close to N$100 000 the ShutItDown movement received from the African Union Youth Envoy were not enough, Lebbeus Hashikutuva, co-founder of the anti-gender based violence movement, has yet again been implicated in another scandal relating to the alleged theft of N$40 000.

This time, with criminal charges laid against him. Hashikutuva was arrested this morning on charges of theft under false pretense. The arrest of Hashikutuva follows barely a day after he was accused by the movement of embezzling US$5000 (about N$74,000) the movement received in February this year. Today, he was arrested in connection with N$40 000 belonging to a youth magazine, AfterBreak. The gender activist, according to Rejoice Amutenya and Mehafo Amunyela, the Magazine owners withheld money that was paid into his account by a company they all entered into an agreement with.

ShutItDown movement today confirmed that Hashikutuva on Tuesday made the US$5000 payment. The movement says it is continuing to investigate whether or not the money paid by Hashikutuva is indeed the original money from the AU.

A statement by Amunyela and Amutenya suggests that they, in April this year authorised Hashikutuva, as a Creative Director to enter into 3-contractual agreements with another company on behalf of the magazine.

City Police Spokesperson, Superintendent Sally Kapolo, this afternoon confirmed that the theft charge was instituted last month and the police was looking for Hashikutuva, but to no avail. He was only arrested this morning.

According to Kapolo, the case was withdrawn today after the parties reached an out of court agreement. Hashikutuva was made to pay the money. “He was at the station for questioning and investigation. An arrest wasn’t confirmed but the parties reached an agreement. The complainant, the suspect and their lawyers. There was a case of theft. I understand he paid that money. The case is withdrawn,” Kapolo says.

“We felt we did not know the industry well enough to take on such a large obligation without guidance. Lebbeus was well acquainted with the media and we thought he would be useful to our work. The company informed us that they had processed final payments for two of the contracts we had signed. Lebbeus acknowledges the money and the amount of N$ 10 000 that was paid into his account,”Amutenya says.

After break alleges that another payment was made into the accused’s account. “Less than a month later, he claimed he had lost his phone as well as his bank card and identification. During the next two months he claimed he tested positive for COVID-19 and lost yet another phone. He had agreed to get his emergency passport but did not and claimed that work was hectic,” the victims says.

According to them, Hashikutuva also claims that all the money coming into his account was being deducted, that he had asked the bank for a statement. The duo also alleges that Hashikutuva informed them that a bursary he was awarded in 2017 was taking back their money after he had dropped out of university.

“He also said he was pursuing legal action as it was illegal for the bursar to take the money without communicating with him but assured us that he would pay back the money with his salary or ask his parents by the end of July. Unfortunately we believed and trusted him without requesting to see his bank statement t corroborate his claims. For over six months Lebbeus consistently made excuses and has not given us a single cent from N$40 000 paid to him on behalf of Afterbreak magazine,” Amutenya says.