By Elvis Muraranganda
KNOWLEDGE Katti has been accused by other local business people of stealing an oil refinery proposal, as well as potential Iranian investors in the project, which is earmarked for Lüderitz.
This comes after a delegation of 10 Iranian investors jetted into the country last week to explore the prospect of setting up a tractor assembly plant, as well as oil refinery.
The delegation also paid a courtesy call on President Hage Geingob, together with Omusati Regional Governor, Erginus Endjala, at State House.
According to WhatsApp messages seen by Confidente, Katti is accused by Europa Shipping and its Namibian arm, Europa Namibia, which was in a joint venture partnership with Iran’s Petropars, of stealing the idea and the overseas investors.
During an investigation by Confidente this week, it emerged that Geingob’s economic advisor John Steytler had referred the oil refinery project to Mines and Energy Minister, Obeth Kandjoze, on November 14, 2016.
This was after Steytler was approached to assist with the project.
He informed Kandjoze to liaise with the business people involved, for “ease of communication”, Steytler told Confidente this week.
At the time, Kandjoze wrote back to Steytler saying: “Please note herewith that the proposal for a future refinery has been received and in good order. Should you have any additional comments you wish to make, on how we deal with the matter (going) forward, kindly let me know.”
According to conversations between Europa Shipping and the Iranians, on WhatsApp, Katti allegedly later made his way to Iran to meet with the investors, and convinced them that he was the right person to assist with the setting up of the refinery.
“[There] is a Namibian guy presently in Dubai, who requires refinery investment for Namibia, but has full files with information and cooperation with government,” one of the messages read from Europa Shipping reads.
“They [the investors] have done the studies, but the confusion is that they are ready to start, (but) they found that they are so many people [involved]… Tomorrow, the other Namibian is in Iran to see them.”
Another message reads: “The Namibian just came days ago and called them [the investors] directly. I will have his name tomorrow.”
The messages further indicate that it was later discovered that the Namibian is Katti.
He had allegedly promised the Iranians that the Namibian government will commit money for the project from “an administration of pension fund of Namibia” for the venture.
Fearing that they will lose their investors, the Europa Namibia business people approached Namcor Managing Director, Immanuel Mulunga, to intervene.
Mulunga confirmed that in February this year, he had written a letter of invitation to the investors, but was not sure that these are the same people who were here recently.
“I can confirm that I authored the letter after [they] came to me and informed me that somebody stole their idea,” Mulunga indicated.
An angry Kandjoze spat venom at the media for always writing about him, negatively.
“Write whatever you want. If I was approached by the Embassy of Iran, how can I have been part of stealing the idea? How am I a thief? Why are you accusing me of stealing the idea? I am a government official and I do not look for investors,” Kandjoze fumed.
Shortly after Katti was emailed questions regarding the matter on Wednesday, he took to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, saying, “#DearLife: hey Confidente not sure if this is spam or if you had a wrong email or it’s just the usual SICK people who normally attract sick journalists… can anyone verify this BULL… whoever they (the investors are, prepare yourself to benefit from them. I’m sure Government or our journalists can make an introduction. For now… we have zero interest in your stories…”
He tagged several other newspapers in the post.
He later responded in an email, “I have questions: who’s the Iranians? Names? Who is disputing what? Please introduce me to all these people, if there is an opportunity to make money. I will gladly look at it, as long as it’s not funded by taxpayers (sic).”
He added: “But if the claim is about my involvement, then no, I don’t know who they are, unless my invitation never reached me.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015