Mariental Municipality probed by ACC for theft of drought relief fish

Tujoromajo Kasuto

THE Mariental Municipality is under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commision (ACC) after a case of theft was opened for fish donated in December last year by NovaNam Group of Companies to the local authority.

The fish that was meant for the food programme at the town is alleged to have been used for other purposes.

According to an email from ACC Senior Investigator Petros Kangameni, he informed the Mariental Chief Executive Officer, Paul Nghiwilepo that the matter is a straight forward theft case and should be reported to the police.

He further advised the municipality to try and obtain all necessary proof from NovaNam to verify the correctness of boxes received and what is in stock or recorded now.

LPM spokesperson Eneas Emvula confirmed that the matter is with the ACC, but highlighted that important details of the case still lack and must still be scrutinised by the Mariental Municipality as the recipient local authority and therefore the investigation should have been spearheaded by the former Mayor of Mariental, Adam Kuhlman who resigned as a LPM councillor earlier this month.

In his resignation, Kuhlman cited accusations of aiding his personal assistant, who is allegedly subverting the party’s leadership. He is the first member of LPM to voluntarily quit without being summoned back. Shortly after his resignation, the personal assistant Anwar Thomas was suspended.

LPM has over the last few years recalled around nine councillors for various allegations. However, sources close to the party say that the recalls and suspensions are against those who are allegedly critical of some decisions taken by the top hierarchy of the party.

Decision-making in the party is allegedly centralised in two persons namely the Leader and his Deputy.

On the resignation of Kuhlman, Emvula said the LPM as a political party had entrusted the former Mayor with a critical role to spearhead the development of the town.

Thus, “it is rather a pity that Kuhlman decided to betray the trust that national leadership had bestowed on him.”

Emula accused the former mayor of opting to embrace the “Politics of Betrayal” against the party values and principles.

“Mr Kuhlman declared himself not worth being part of the fight against the institutionalised corruption culture that tainted the previous councils.”

He said that the party has policies in place that will attend to Kuhlman and any other implicated LPM member once the court case is over.

Kuhlman stated at an ordinary council meeting where he resigned that his goal as a councillor was to promote the town and its inhabitants and not to engage in intra-party politics.

Kuhlman was also the chairperson of the Mayors and Chairpersons Forum, which was founded last year at the town to assist local governments with land delivery, development funding, and human resource and equipment assistance, among other things.



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