August 26 manager fired over missing N$25m

By Eliaser Ndeyanale

A senior manager at the military-owned company August 26 was dismissed in September after he was found guilty of allegedly having misappropriated N$25.7 million.

According to well-placed sources, Paulus Moshana, who was employed as a finance manager by August 26 Textile, had allegedly paid the money into the accounts of two companies alleged to belong to him, Omakuva Trading and Proficiency cc.

Sources close to the matter said Moshana had worked closely with his wife, Ester Shimwandi, who was employed as a finance clerk in his office, but later moved to another office where she worked as a cashier until her resignation in February.

Shimwandi was allegedly responsible for verifying invoices while her husband released the payments.

Confidente understands that Moshana invoiced the company for services he claimed to have rendered to August 26, which is owned by the Ministry of Defence, but it is now being alleged that he had in fact not done so. “The disciplinary hearing was completed on 30 September and the [staff] member has signed his dismissal letter.

“What we got from the audit report, it was N$25.7 million [that went missing]. The case is on. What happened is that … there are a lot of issues, but when he was doing his business the invoices he submitted stated that the service was done, but nothing was done. He normally generated invoices and released the money but no service was provided. That is the reason he was dismissed.

“He was paying his companies from the [August 26] company. There are some invoices where he said he trained about fifty people (August 26 staff). Sometimes he would say he had transported items from Durban to Windhoek and from Walvis Bay to Katima Mulilo. It was never done. About 80 percent of the invoices were lies and he did not pay tax,” the inside source said.

They further said the trend started in 2011 but was only detected around June 2017 when Silas Amunyela took over as the new managing director of August 26. Amunyela refused to comment on the dismissal, saying it was an internal matter.

Confidente’s sources indicated though that the case was reported to the Office of the Prosecutor General, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the police, but no arrest has been made in connection with the case yet.

“The case of misappropriation of funds was opened on 19 July 2018, but up to now the police have not finalised the case. And they know everything. They took statements everywhere, they have the report of the disciplinary hearing. We are just waiting for them to make a pronouncement,” the source said.

Approached for comment, Moshana referred Confidente to August 26 for answers. “Where did you get that information from? Go back to your source and ask whether it’s true or not. Just call the office, they will let you know. Get the number of August 26,” Moshana said before cutting the call.

His wife could not be reached for comment.

Anti-Corruption director general Paulus Noa said briefly the case is not being investigated by the ACC, because when their officials went to August 26 to inquire about the matter they were told that it is being handled by the police’s commercial investigation branch.