Kasuto accused of illegal withdrawal of N$250 000

Martin Endjala

The former President of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN), Ismael Kasuto, is being accused of illegally withdrawing N$250 000 from the Namibia Miners Investment Trust (MAMIT), founded by MUN.

This is according to the National Executive Committee (NEC), which discovered that on April 29, Kasuto allegedly withdrew the money for personal use by transferring it into one bank account of a local law firm to avoid future litigation.

MUN’s acting president, Poco Mberiuana, made this revelation on Thursday during a media update on the organisational self-correcting and renewal process.

Mberiuana said that by the time Kasuto withdrew the alleged money, he had already been removed as the president of MUN through a vote of no confidence on 28 April.

This has prompted MUN to carry out various investigations into Kasuto’s dealings and NAMIT affairs.

He stated that they were unable to find a resolution to grant access to the money, but they will continue to investigate its location.

Mberiuana further indicated that it was discovered that the former MUN vice president, Desley Somseb, changed the deed of trust founder from being MUN to his own name.

“This action is tantamount to commercial fraud and theft. Thus, the BEC is busy transforming the ownership of NAMIT back into the name of MUN as an organisation from Somseb individualisation status,” said Mberiuana.

Mberiuana stated that on 10 May, Somseb approached the High Court on an urgent basis to challenge their removal from their position, which has now halted MUN’s ambitions to hold an extraordinary congress later this year to elect new leadership.

He explained that with the ongoing court case, they want to wait for the court’s ruling.

Documents seen by this publication indicate that the amended deed of trust was registered with the Master of the High Court on 20, 2019.

Nine of the Trustees signed the initial NEC Resolution, submitted their forms on time, got registered, and became the Trust’s legitimate Trustees.

Those who didn’t sign the NEC Resolution later turned in their forms, understanding that their refusal wouldn’t disrupt the process.

At a meeting on 10 September 2023, the NEC approved a resolution to regularise and formalise the affairs of NAMIT. The trustees who signed the resolution included Kasuto, his deputy Desley Somseb, Abraham Baisko, the vice national secretary, Petrus Petrus, Jessica Haradoes, Abiud Kapere, Paulus Johannes, and Delila Tsibes, the vice treasurer.

Meanwhile, Kasuto said the trust ownership has not changed to Somseb.

“We will send the breakdown of the events that led to the N$250 000 transfer by the Trustees to a Lawyers Trust account by a resolution to protect the trust that is being insinuated as if it was for Kasuto and by Kasuto.

There is a Namit Trustee Resolution to that effect, and it has nothing to do with Kasuto’s case as being alluded to,” he argued.

Kasuto claims that the reasons or justification for their removal have been inconsistent and not factual, but rather an attempt to mislead the members into seeking sympathy.

Kasuto stated last month that MUN is under intense scrutiny after an audit report found unaccounted-for expenditures totalling N$18 million between 2015 and 2021.

The audit brought to light a series of challenges related to financial transactions, membership fees, and expenses.

According to insiders, it is believed that the current leadership is trying to avoid accounting for the alleged unaccounted money and is now trying to get rid of both Kasuto and Somseb.

MUN’s general secretary, George Ampweya, refuted this, stating that the former leadership was removed due to their unethical leadership and not because of the forensic audit.

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