Swapo Parly Candidate Convicted of Corruption

ONE of the ruling Swapo Party’s members who was elected to the National Assembly has left her career chances hanging in the balance after she was convicted of corruption shortly before the elections in November last year.

Rundu-based Marina Kandumbu, who is number 70 on the Swapo Party list of 77 candidates going to the National Assembly was charged and convicted of a case of corruption.

Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba yesterday confirmed that the party was investigating and verifying details of Kandumbu’s conviction before it can decide on the course of the action to take.

Mbumba said that party policy dictates that convicted persons do not qualify to get onto the party list. He, however, said that Kandumbu was convicted after the party had held its electoral college.

“If she was really convicted, it is unfortunate,” Mbumba said, adding that the party’s policies are “very clear” on such issues.

Furthermore, Mbumba said Swapo also upholds judgements handed down by traditional courts.

Kandumbu yesterday said she was unaware of the party’s probe and that she did not receive any communication from the party head office or from Mbumba.

She said she could not comment on or confirm the conviction.

An inquiry by The Namibian revealed that Kandumbu was convicted on 11 November last year at Rundu. She was charged under the Anti-Corruption Act for allegedly using her position in government for personal gratification.

The case, with number 1432011, had dragged on for four years before it was concluded.

The charges originate from her allegedly renting out a government subsidised house.

Magistrate Helen Olaiya found Kandumbu guilty and sentenced her to five years imprisonment or a fine of N$100 000.

Four years or N$90 000 was suspended and she ended up paying a N$10 000 fine.

The sentence was suspended on condition that Kandumbu repays the Ministry of Education N$87 887 in 31 instalments from 27 November last year to May or June 2017.

Part of the suspended sentence was a condition that she is not convicted of crimes under the Anti-Corruption Act for the period of five years.

Kandumbu was employed as an education planner for the Ministry of Education in the Kavango East region.

It is not clear if she has already resigned her position as per the public service law which deems civil servants who are elected to parliament as having resigned as soon as election results are announced and they have secured a seat.

Kandumbu refused to comment on whether she had resigned from the public service.

Source : The Namibian