Erkki rubbishes claims

06 March 2014 Author  

front Erkki 07 marchDIRECTOR of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Paulus Noa has confirmed that Minister of Works and Transport Erkki Nghimtina is not under investigation for corruption, even though the ACC received a written request to investigate. The Windhoek Observer is in the possession of a copy of a letter addressed to Noa that requested him to investigate the minister, “in order to rid our society of the cancer…that is devouring it”.

“I would like ACC to investigate one of the so called national leaders in the person of Erkki Nghimtina, this man is very, very……and if these practices are not stopped now he will cause a lot of damage to society,” the letter reads. However, the ACC director said that he had not seen such a letter and that to the best of his knowledge no one had delivered it to his office yet.

“I have not received such a letter, it could be that it has been delivered and not sent to my office as yet, but I can tell you there are no investigations underway regarding the minister,” Noa said.

The letter further makes various allegations with regard to Nghimtina’s relationship with local business tycoon Knowledge Katti at the time the former served as Minister of Mines and Energy.

In an interview on Wednesday afternoon Nghimtina however rubbished the claims against him, and questioned the reasons for all the commotion around the distribution EPLs when he was minister.

“People have been going on and on about EPLs when I was Minister of Mines as if it was my invention. I am no longer there and EPLs are still being allocated to people,” he said.

Although Noa confirmed that there were no current investigations underway relating to Nghimtina, he did mention that the ACC investigated the allocation of EPLs some years back.

“There was a time we were investigating this thing of EPLs but investigations were inconclusive due to the lack of sufficient evidence,” Noa explained.

The letter addressed to Noa goes on to highlight Nghimtina’s more recent alleged involvement with former Roads Contractor Company executive Elmo Kaiyamo.

These allegations relate to tenders Kaiyamo’s company OTESA Civil Engineering Company has supposedly received from the Ministry of Works and Transport.

“Many business people who have aspired for road tenders and have consulted Nghimtina were always referred Kaiyamo….” the letter reads.

The author of the letter goes on to say that road contracts are public works paid for by taxpayer’s money, and that the aim of calling for public tenders is to ensure that the process of selection of the winner is fair.

“With the…going on at the ministry of works, tenders are being decided on by the minister and Kaiyamo…, therefore please investigate these incidents,” the letter says.

When asked about his relations to Kaiyamo the transport minister dismissed the claims of a working relationship between the two, remarking that he viewed him like any other Namibian.

“That is complete rubbish; how can an elderly person like myself be doing business with a young man like that; how old is he, 20 or 30 thirty something?” he questioned.

Nghimtina further denied having persuaded Kaiyamo to resign from RCC and start up OTESA Engineering, saying that Kaiyamo is an adult with qualifications who can make his own decisions.

“I will not be the Minister of Works and Transport forever, therefore how can I tell someone to resign and start a company whose success is apparently dependent on me being Minister of Works?” he said.

In an interview this week, Kaiyamo categorically denied that his company OTESA engineering had performed any work for the Ministry of Works, nor had it tendered for any.

“This is laughable; we have not been awarded any tenders by the Ministry of Works and Transport. The only tender we won was that of N$11 million from RCC,” Kaiyamo said.

Kaiyamo also refuted the allegation that the minister has close business relations with him.

“I don’t have a special relationship with him. He is my former boss and my mentor and I look up to him like I would any other national leader, and that’s where it ends,” he stressed.

The minister further denied that he had any control or influence over decisions made at parastatals that fall under his ministry by virtue of that he has the final say on the appointment of the chief executive officer.

“The minister has no control over tenders; it is the national tender board that allocates tenders, and if the tender is handled internally by the parastatal it is the CEO.”

“The minister does not have power over the CEO. He did not appoint him or her, because the board of directors does that. The minister merely rubberstamps the decision of the board and takes it to Cabinet,” Nghimtina concluded.
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