NBC boss a free manBy: STAFF REPORTERS
THE rumour mill was abuzz with speculations yesterday that Albertus Aochamub, director general of the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), was arrested in connection of fraud at the Hosea International Airport yesterday morning.
“Apparently when he landed at the airport, the Police were waiting for him right there,” a source said.
Not so, said Aochamub when contacted on his mobile phone yesterday afternoon where he was in Johannesburg on his way back home from a business trip to Cuba to discuss a joint project to record Cuba’s role in the Namibian liberation struggle.
“These rumours are very interesting. Quite frankly I have no idea where the rumours come from,” Aochamub said.
The allegation of fraud bandied about is that the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran) has lodged a case with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in which it is alleged that Aochamub, as part of a cartel, has inflated prices of equipment in the digitisation drive at the NBC, in an attempt to defraud the broadcaster of N$30 million.
Another allegation is that he was involved in a N$30 million deal entered into with Cubans. These millions have allegedly escalated to N$70 million.
But ACC director Paulus Noa yesterday said he had no knowledge of an arrest or charge against Aochamub.
Edwin Kanguatjivi of the Namibian Police also said that he had no knowledge about this.
And neither Cran chairperson Lazarus Jacobs nor CEO Stanley Shanapinda was aware of any case Cran has launched with the ACC against Aochamub, or anyone else for that matter.
The chairperson of the NBC board, Sven Thieme, was equally flabbergasted when approached for comment on the rumours.
In fact, said both Jacobs and Thieme, they both spoke to Aochamub yesterday afternoon.
“We had a good laugh about it,” said Jacobs.
“He is still a young man. Do you really think he would do such a thing?” said Thieme. “I’ll put my hands in the fire as vouch for him; I don’t believe he would do that. He would not take such a risk; he wouldn’t take a cent. ”
Aochamub is expected back in Windhoek today.