Nghipunya earned N$15 million in ‘fish’ consultancy work

Eba Kandovazu

MIKE Nghipunya, Fishcor’s former Chief Executive Offficer this afternoon told the court that he earned a total N$ 15 million in a period of three years for consultancy services he rendered with his company, Gwanyemba Investments Trust.

Annually, Nghipunya earned N$ 5 million at Gwanyemba, while he made N$ 1.4 million as CEO of Fishcor. Nghipunya, asked for clarification by presiding Judge Shafimana Ueitele during his bail application insisted that the payment was an allowance. He explained to the court that the company consisted of a staff compliant of four employees. Himself as the Executive Chairman, a Director of Operations, a Property Manager and a General worker.

Nghipunya confirmed today that he offered consultancy work for fishing companies dealing directly with Fishcor, saying there was nothing suspicious about that, when queried by State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi.

According to Nghipunya, permission was granted to him by the Fishcor board, to conduct such businesses in his personal capacity.

It was reported earlier this year that Nghipunya transferred more than N$10.5 million into the account of Gwanyemba Investment Trust, from his personal bank account, before his arrest.

The court today was informed that Fishcor auditors only picked up suspicious transactions in governmental objectives after the arrest of former fisheries minister Bernard Esau.

It emerged yesterday in court that Nghipunya was a silent partner in Wanamadu Investmwnt, a company the state alleges he co-owns with his co-accused Phillipus Mwapopi. The state alleges that Wanakadu sold dried fish to Fishcor in an amount of N$4.2 million, fish that was never delivered, according to the state.

It is alleged that some of the money was deposited to companies belonging to former Fishcor board Chairperson James Hatuikulipi.

Meanwhile, Thabang Phatela, representing Nghipunya objected to the handing over of the full forensic Audit report as an exhibition, despite Nghipunya relying on it during his evidence-in-chief. Phatela however has no objection to the handing over of the pages Nghipunya testified on.

According to him, the audit report could later be used against his client when the matter does to trial. The objection is expected to be heard tomorrow morning and Phatela is expected to present relevant case law to argue his objection.

Two more suspects, Mwapopi and Otneel Shuudifonya are expected to take the stand tomorrow in a quest for bail. Former Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala, Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelula will only be applying for bail via affidavits. They will not be cross examined.

The bail application continues tomorrow morning.

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