AMTA grain smuggling suspect denied bail

Obrein Simasiku

An Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) employee in the Zambezi Region, who was nabbed on allegations of corruption on Friday, was today denied bail in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court.

The suspect James Masule Walubita (49), was arrested on Friday and his case has been postponed to 27 July for further police investigation.

Walubita allegedly solicited monies amounting to N$280 000 by diverting about 80 tons of maize grain from AMTA silos and selling it to a private miller(s) for his own benefit.

“The Anti-Corruption Commission received a tip-off from the Whistle-blower against Walubita who allegedly embezzled AMTA funds for self-gratification. It is alleged that Walubita sells maize grains from AMTA Silos to individual persons and issues them with private bank account details to deposit the money,” said ACC spokesperson Josefina Nghituwamata.

The ACC however declined to reveal the names of the miller and the account holder where money is usually being deposited for fear of jeopardizing investigations that are still in an infant stage

In their defence, ACC had strongly objected to the suspect being granted bail arguing that, the apprehension of other possible suspects involved in the commission of the corrupt practices cannot be ruled out.

“Moreover, information received indicated that this might not be the only incident and the possibility of similar charges being added can as well not be ruled out,” Nghituwamata stated.

AMTA is one of the institutions entrusted to play an important role in the promotion of food security in Namibia. Hence, the practices of officials employed in positions of trust embezzling public funds results not only in damage to the national economy but also jeopardizing food security objective in the country, said the commission.

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