Four in High Court On B1 City Fraud

THE four people facing fraud and other charges in connection with the Roads Contractor Company’s involvement in the B1 City property development project in Windhoek appeared in the High Court yesterday.

The four – former RCC chief executive officer Kelly Nghixulifwa, businessmen David Imbili and Hafeni Nghinamwaami, and Anna Ndoroma – made a brief pre-trial appearance before Judge President Petrus Damaseb to have their case postponed to 22 June.

Their case was transferred to the Windhoek High Court in late February, after each of them had been granted bail of N$60 000 following their arrest about a week earlier.

Nghixulifwa, Ndoroma, Nghinamwaami, Imbili and the companies Ae Gams Engineering, represented by Imbili, and Cradle Investments, represented by Nghinamwaami, have been indicted in the High Court on a total of eight charges.

Four of the charges stem from the Roads Contractor Company’s involvement in the B1 City property development project in 2005 and 2006. Other charges also stem from Nghixulifwa’s tenure as chief executive officer of the parastatal, which came to an end with his resignation, after he had been suspended from his position, at the end of 2006.

Nghixulifwa, who was yesterday represented by defence counsel Louis Botes, is set to face all eight of the charges.

These consist of three main counts of corruptly using his office or position for gratification, which is an offence in terms of the Anti-Corruption Act, two main counts of fraud, two main charges of failing to disclose his interest in a contract to the board of directors of the RCC, and a charge of using or concealing property obtained through corruption.

Nghinamwaami, represented by Richard Metcalfe, and Ndoroma, represented by Silas-Kishi Shakumu, are charged with two main counts of corruptly using an office or position for gratification and further charges of fraud and using or concealing property obtained through corruption.

Imbili, who was represented by defence lawyer Sisa Namandje yesterday, and Ae Gams Engineering are charged with main counts of corruptly using an office or position for gratification and using or concealing property obtained through corruption.

Cradle Investments is charged with counts of fraud and corruptly using an office or position for gratification.

In the indictment listing the charges against the accused it is alleged that Nghixulifwa was a shareholder in both Ae Gams Engineering and Cradle Investments, but concealed his stake in the two companies by having his shares held in Ndoroma’s name. It is alleged that Nghixulifwa failed to disclose his interests in the two companies to the board of directors of the RCC.

Nghinamwaami and Imbili were also shareholders of Ae Gams Engineering.

The RCC became involved in the B1 City shopping complex and taxi rank development after Imbili, representing Ae Gams Engineering, and Nghixulifwa, representing the RCC, signed an agreement in February 2005 in terms of which the RCC and Ae Gams Engineering were to undertake the property development as a joint venture.

It is charged in the indictment that Nghixulifwa, Imbili, Nghinamwaami, Ndoroma and Ae Gams Engineering corruptly used Nghixulifwa’s position at the RCC to buy the plot of land where the B1 City development was to take place on behalf of Ae Gams Engineering, using RCC funds and a credit facility in an amount of N$4,87 million.

Nghixulifwa allegedly also defrauded the RCC by bringing managers at the parastatal and the chairperson of the RCC board under the impression that a mortgage bond of N$4,87 million had been registered over the B1 City property in RCC’s favour, when in fact that had not been done, it is charged.

It is also alleged in the indictment that Nghixulifwa defrauded the RCC and a construction company, Murray amp Roberts, in December 2004 by concealing his shareholding in Cradle Investments and inducing the RCC and Murray amp Roberts to pay a ‘facilitation fee’ of N$150 000 to the company and Nghinamwaami for the role they had supposedly played in the construction of a new head office for the RCC.

It is alleged that in fact Nghinamwaami and Cradle Investments had not been appointed as project facilitators and were not entitled to receive such a fee.

Source : The Namibian