By Marianne Nghidengwa
THE Mayor of Oshakati, Katrina Shimbulu is under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for alleged corrupt practices that involve the abuse of Subsistence and Travelling allowance (S&T) and council vehicles to conduct her private affairs amongst a host of other fraudulent activities.
Information at hand suggests that ACC Director General, Paulus Noa last month wrote to Oshakati Town Council’s CEO, Werner Iita outlining the investigation into Shimbulu’s alleged corrupt activities and requested the council to do its own investigations and give him answers by this week.
Confidente reliably learnt that Shimbulu is under investigation for failing to reimburse an advance of over N$20 000 to attend a Commonwealth meeting in Gaborone, Botswana which she never attended.
In another incident, the Mayoress reportedly also failed to reimburse an advance of N$4 000 for attending an Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN) meeting in Tsumeb. She reportedly failed to account on how she had spent the money.
Shimbulu reportedly also bought a N$13 999 cellphone although her cellphone allowance only qualifies her for a mobile valued at N$3 000.
It is also alleged that Shimbulu during March went on a three-day unapproved private business trip to Walvis Bay using the council’s vehicle and a driver.
While Noa could not confirm nor deny the investigations, he said he was not ready to talk about the matter with the media. “I don’t discuss those things with the media because normally we engage with the management. I am not ready to share anything with the media on this matter,” Noa said.
Confidente understands that Shimbulu has been avoiding the ACC to an extent that officials rocked up at her office several times but could not find her. She initially fainted when she got wind of the investigations.
The ACC reportedly requested Shimbulu to provide information and evidence in her defence but that she is yet to do so. A source said, “When the ACC confronted her on the allegations, she fainted. She promised to give the ACC a response but then the ACC has been struggling to see her.”
C o n t a c t e d for comment, Shimbulu said that the matter was news to her. “I don’t know of any investigations against me by the ACC. I was in Windhoek for a week so maybe I will soon hear of that story,” adding “I have not avoided anyone. My office is open and my mobile is always on. I have not received any phone calls from the ACC,” she retorted.
Iita pleaded ignorance when contacted saying, “I haven’t heard anything. But normally when a person gets money for any occasion but did not attend, they give back that money.”
Shimbulu is not a first-timer in the local media over controversy. Nearly three years ago, she spent a night behind bars for failing to settle a N$500 traffic fine. Before her arrest at the time, she was found driving 96km/h in a 60km/h zone outside Ongwediva.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015