Friday, 9 December 2022

PROFILES

James Hatuikulipi’s father remembered

While James Hatuikulipi’s reputation has been tainted by corruption allegations, his father Tauno’s legacy is the opposite. Tauno, a church leader and a respected member of Swapo’s guerrilla wing, Plan, has a street named after him in Okuryangava in Windhoek. Tauno died in exile in 1984. Some suspect he was tortured to death while in custody at Swapo’s notorious Lubango camp. The death of his father remains a “sore point” for Hatuikulipi. Those close to him say he becomes emotional whenever the topic is brought up. They said it is part of his life’s mission to repatriate his father’s remains from Angola On 25...

Fishcor’s finance manager’s ties to Hatuikulipi

By Eliaser Ndeyanale | 24 October 2020 ACCOUNTANT Paulus Ngalangi was appointed as Fishcor’s finance general manager in April 2015, around six months after James Hatuikulipi was appointed as board chairperson of Fishcor. Ngalangi is said to be close to Hatuikulipi. A source familiar with their background said the two grew up together and Hatuikulipi was like Ngalangi's big brother. Ngalangi was in charge of Fishcor’s finances during the alleged Fishrot corruption scandal. A source close to Ngalangi and James Hatuikulipi told The Namibian that the two are related and grew up together at Rundu. The source said Ngalangi’s mother, Rakkel Ndahafa Haulyondjaba, is related...

The failed London talks

By Shinovene Immanuel, Tileni Mongudhi and Mathias Haufiku| 24 October 2020 JAMES Hatuikulipi’s' path to the top also involved bulldozing his way into key state-controlled industries such as fishing. He faced an obstacle – Namsov Fishing, which was controlled by the Bidvest group of companies. Formerly a joint Namibian and Soviet venture, Namsov had been a big player in the fishing industry since independence. Court papers show that Hatuikulipi’s company, Hanganeni, wanted to buy shares in Namsov but that the company refused. The Namibian understands that Hanganeni, Shanghala, Hungamo and Ndeutala Angolo aimed to become a significant black empowerment shareholder in Namsov. So significant was...

Fishrot ‘mastermind’ The rise and fall of James Hatuikulipi

By Shinovene Immanuel, Tileni Mongudhi and Mathias Haufiku| 23 October 2020 JAMES Hatuikulipi, the man accused of masterminding Namibia’s biggest fishing corruption scandal, had the world at his feet, earning a total package of around N$30 million a year from his daily investment job. His net worth was estimated to be more than N$1 billion in mostly cash, making him one of the richest people in Namibia. That world came crashing down on 27 November last year when he was arrested for alleged corruption, fraud and money laundering. It saw the emergence of Hatuikulipi as one of the key players in the Fishrot...

Fishrot fashionista: Nghipunya’s rise and reckoning

By Timo Shihepo | 2 October 2020 FOR YEARS, suspended Fishcor boss Mike Nghipunya has earned the reputation of being a jack of all trades – a chief executive, economist, actor, and fashion designer. Now he is a corruption accused. According to people who know him, Nghipunya (36) is a man who enjoys the limelight. Among other things, this saw him donate N$50 000 from national fishing company Fishcor to help finance a movie in which he played a part. The film, ‘Fish Out of Water’, released in 2017, features Big Brother celebrity Maria Nepembe as Maila, an escort who travels to Lüderitz for...

Mandela, the military and the robber Namandje kept saving

By Shinovene Immanuel | 25 July 2020 THE way in which lawyers represented South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela in the 1960s inspired Sisa Namandje to become a lawyer. Namandje says he read in a Zambian magazine in his school’s library in February 1990 how lawyers such as advocate George Bizos fearlessly and effectively represented Mandela, Walter Sisulu and others in their treason and Rivonia trials. “It was at that time that I decided I should also be one of the fearless lawyers in the independent Namibia,” he told The Namibian this week. “My interest in studying law grew further in that my...

Namandje booted Hoze Riruako from Swapo congress

By Eliaser Ndeyanale | 25 July 2020 IN 2017, Sisa Namandje dismissed president Hage Geingob’s election observer at Swapo’s congress. Hoze Riruako, an academic at the University of Namibia (Unam) and political commentator, says he got the boot after allegedly breaking the rules. The incident was interpreted by some as a possible sign that Namandje, rumoured to be a Sam Nujoma loyalist, was sympathetic to Geingob’s opponents, known as Team Swapo. Riruako last week said Namandje’s attitude when he barred him (Riruako) from entering the room where votes were counted was astonishing. At the time other candidates’ campaign managers, such as those of Swapo...

Namandje’s triumphs and troubles

By Shinovene Immanuel | 24 July 2020 TOP LAWYER Sisa Special Namandje (47) has cemented his reputation as a shrewd legal fixer, negotiator and trusted confidant in what many view as a relatively short period. A sizeable number of his clients are prominent multi millionaires, business people and politicians of the highest stature, no less than president Hage Geingob and former presidents Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba. For some, he is the poster child of black professional success and excellence, who broke into the Namibian law fraternity’s elite league that is still dominated by white-owned firms. For others, he is too cozy with...

Profile: Sisa Namandje

By Shinovene Immanuel 24 July 2020 There can be no argument: Sisa Namandje has climbed a greasy pole to get where he is today. He was the oldest of 12 children born to a poor, rural family at Onyaanya in the Oshikoto region on 15 December 1972. He started his education at Ondjamba Combined School and partly completed his primary education at Emanya Senior Primary School. He started his junior secondary education at Swapo’s Health Education Centre at Nyango in Zambia. Namandje later returned to Onyaanya in northern Namibia and completed his Grade 12 at Uukule Senior Secondary School in 1994. The following year, he...

Shiimi’s road to treasury

By Tileni Mongudhi and Mathias Haufiku | 23 April 2020 NEW finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi has developed a reputation of shunning the perks of power and being a competent technocrat. An advocate of doing more with less, Shiimi rejected a new Mercedes-Benz and claiming travel allowances when he was governor of the Bank of Namibia, an indication of his belief in backing words with actions, a former colleague says. At 50, he has quietly racked up an impressive 25-year career at the central bank backed by a string of academic qualifications. Some political observers believe his biggest test could be saying no to...

Namibia’s property ‘golden girl’

By Tileni Mongudhi, Shinovene Immanuel and Tutaleni Pinehas | 23 November 2018 STINA WU arrived in Namibia from China with little more than a suitcase 22 years ago. She was 19 years old then, and had previously only worked as a kindergarten teacher. Now aged 41, she owns land and buildings in the heart of Windhoek, Rundu, Oshakati, Karibib and Okahandja, and is considered among Namibia's prime property owners. Wu and her husband came to Namibia under a government policy designed to attract investment from China. The Namibian investigated some of Wu's businesses for the past four years through speaking to people who...

Q and A with Wu

By Shinovene Immanuel | 23 November 2018 The Namibians reporter, Shinovene Immanuel, asked Wu to tell us her story, and how she rose from being a teacher to one of the most-feared, well-connected golden girls in property deals in Namibia. The Namibian (TN): Please take us through your journey. Why did you decide to come to Namibia? How did you hear about Namibia? Stina Wu (SW): I came to Namibia when I was 19 years old, and this was the prime of my youth. I chose Namibia because I heard a lot of good things about it from my husband. My family,...

Namibia’s tender magnet

By Shinovene Immanuel and Tileni Mongudhi | 9 December 2016 BUSINESSMAN Vaino Nghipondoka is Namibia's tender king. Originally a correctional services officer, he now presides over a business empire based on state contracts worth billions of dollars, which he has built up in less than 10 years. Nghipondoka was recently in the news as a central figure in the row over the government's failed N$4 billion oil deal with Angola, as one of the connected businessmen who stood to cash in on it. He has profited handsomely from partnerships with international companies that are targeting state contracts: in the past three years,...

Namibia’s mysterious ‘unwanted’ citizen

By Tileni Mongudhi | 25 September 2015 BIG Brother has been watching and following the Lebanese-born but naturalised Namibian businessman Ali Fadl Ayoub for the past 15 years. But who is Ali Fadl Ayoub? Why are the authorities interested in him and suspecting him of having a hand in questionable financial transactions in which more than N$100 million was channelled out of the country? And why do the authorities suspect that the money could have been used to finance terrorism activities in countries as near as South Africa and as far as Lebanon and Pakistan? The Namibian has established that the police,...

The colourful Mr Nekundi

By Tileni Mongudhi | 5 September 2014 REPORTS of a spat between Swapo Party Youth League deputy secretary Veikko Nekundi and //Karas governor Bernadus Swartbooi at the Swapo electoral college last weekend has again thrown the limelight on Nekundi that he is like a proverbial cat with many lives. Nekundi has survived many trials and tribulations with the accusations Swartbooi levelled against Nekundi being the latest in a long list of complaints about him by his SPYL comrades. Questions have been asked whether Nekundi is a genius among his peers and a tactical politician or a political turncoat who just goes with...