THE Windhoek High Court this morning ordered that the Namibia Tourism Board(NTB) be re-payed the N$ 23.5 million it paid to Kora Awards promoter, Ernest Adjovi, and his company Mundial Telecom Sarl.
The awards, which were scheduled to take place on 20 March 2016 never happened. Adjovi, who was a no show during the trial, has also been ordered to pay the legal costs of NTB. “The lesson learned today is that when you enter into agreements, such must be made to be properly and comprehensively documented to avoid any confusion and gaps. As a country it is a learning step for all of us that if we’re to embark on any projects of this nature, that proper due diligence has to be done in accordance with the opportunities and whether they can take off, whether they will be sustainable to return good rewards that are intended to. We need to do assessments on those who are involved in terms of attitude and conduct because more often, one finds that people come with good intentions but the underlying principles are actually meant to corrupt institutions and we need to safeguard against such crooks,” NTB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Digu //Naobeb says.
//Naobeb adds that the NTB will further consult its lawyers on whether or not to approach Interpol, and/or other ways to recover the money.
The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, welcomes the judgment, saying that the Kora saga was “orchestrated” by persons who knew what they were doing. According to him, the Kora organisers just wanted money and “were not really hosting the event”.
“It is vindictive to some of us. When I was warning, I had some suspicion. I asked if we had security. I even asked the Attorney General at the time, Sacky Shanghala, and suggested that an account be opened in Namibia, that we only release money when services have been delivered. The problem was that Adjovi apparently thought NTB would not pay after they had delivered the services and I said they could establish an account which they could co-sign. That suggestion was completely ignored by the AG, who was the agreement drafter.” Shifeta explains.
Judge Herman Oosthuizen presided, while Kaijata Kangueehi represented NTB.