New Omaruru Town Council Chief Executive Officer, Alfons Tjitombo, is under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for multiple tender irregularities, including a N$4,6 million tender awarded to a company allegedly owned by his close friend, businessman Veikko Haimbodi.
The ACC investigation was launched last year June when Tjitombo was still Opuwo Town Council CEO.
ACC documents leaked to the Windhoek Observer this week, shows that Tjitombo, who was appointed to his current position on 1 June, allegedly awarded a tender for the construction of a storm drainage system to Dolly Investment cc, a company owned by Haimbodi in 2015.
“The friend of the CEO was awarded a tender amounting to N$4,6 million to construct a storm drainage system for the town and he did not complete the project and disappeared with N$2,5 million,” the leaked report alleged.
Dolly Investment is one of three local construction companies that were awarded the tender for the construction of a N$38 million 7,8km DR3668 road from Epako in Okalongo to Omuvelo waKashamane.
Dolly Investment is said to have vanished without completing the project, after spending a year and five months on site.
Tjitombo also stands accused of flouting procedures when he awarded contracts for the installation of sewage pipes in Extension 2 and the installation of solar panels for the street lights in Opuwo without going to tender.
The ACC investigation report suggests that no records exist of when the advertisement for the tenders was done.
Tjitombo is accused of living a lavish lifestyle beyond his means after the tenders were awarded.
“He owns a BMW top of the range car, a Land Cruiser SUV, a Hammer and an Amarok double cab, a fleet he acquired within a period of 12 months,” the ACC report said.
Before his latest appointment, Tjitombo was the Opuwo Town Council CEO until the end of last year when his contract came to an end and was not renewed. He served in that position for 10 years.
Opuwo Town Council Management Committee Chairperson, Tjazapi Richard, confirmed the investigation against Tjitombo.
“When he (Tjitombo) was here, the ACC came to investigate the tender irregularities; these complaints were lodged by some community members who were unhappy about certain things.
“The council is still waiting for the report from ACC on their findings,” Richard told the Windhoek Observer.
Council officials in Omaruru have questioned why Tjitombo was allowed to lead another town council before investigations into his alleged corrupt practices were complete.
They blame Urban and Rural Development Minister, Sophia Shaningwa, for endorsing Tjitombo’s appointment while he was under investigation.
In an interview with the Windhoek Observer, Shaningwa denied knowing about the Tjitombo’s investigation.
“I was never aware that there was an investigation against him. But I will try to find out. The Council never reported the matter to me,” Shaningwa claimed.
ACC Director General, Paulus Noa, could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation against Tjitombo, but said he was aware that the Opuwo Town Council had made a number of allegations against their former CEO.
Let Zaako, who is leading the investigation against Tjitombo, refused to give details on the case.
Opuwo Town Council Accountant Acting CEO, Gerson Musewa, also confirmed to the Windhoek Observer this week that Dolly Investment had not completed its work despite being paid. “We have been paying that company (Dolly Investment cc) but they never made an effort to complete the job, except the digging of holes. The tender was given in 2015 and only about 20 percent of the work has been completed,” Musewa said.
Tjitombo did not respond to multiple attempts by the Windhoek Observer to contact him.