IUM denies funding IPC…university employee’s company buys party’s fleet

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IUM denies funding IPC…university employee’s company buys party’s fleet
IUM denies funding IPC…university employee’s company buys party’s fleet

Africa-Press – Namibia. The International University of Management has dismissed claims of its involvement in funding the political activities of the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC).

This comes after New Era obtained information indicating that over N$10.5 million was deposited into an account belonging to Rover Trading Enterprises, a company owned by the institution’s finance controller, Wilfred Muller.

Some of these funds are purported to have been used to purchase GWM P-Series double-cabs for IPC campaigns, while others were allegedly paid to Shikamo Africa, a political advisory and campaign services company.

According to a source close to the matter, on 4 December 2023, Rover Trading Enterprises opened a bank account with Bank Windhoek. On 5 December 2023, an amount of N$1.4 million was transferred from IUM to Rover Trading Enterprises.

Of that amount, Rover Trading Enterprises allegedly paid N$100 000 to Shikamo Africa, a political advisory and campaign services firm, and N$950 000 was paid to GWM.

In the same month, IUM allegedly transferred N$500 000 to Rover trading enterprises, which was again paid to GWM.

On 21 December 2023, IUM allegedly transferred N$2.4 million and then N$5.7 million to Rover Trading Enterprises.

Subsequently, Rover Trading Enterprises transferred N$5.7 million to GWM and later paid N$960 000.

New Era was unable to obtain a response from Shikamo Africa regarding its involvement in managing IPC’s campaigns or confirmation of the funds. Similarly, questions sent to GWM went unanswered.

However, IUM’s communications director Gerry Munyama said, “It doesn’t make sense. I can’t make heads or tails of this allegation”.

Munyama emphasised that IUM is an apolitical institution of higher learning, welcoming academics nationally or internationally, regardless of their political convictions or affiliations.

“As such, IUM will never involve itself in political sponsorship or affiliation. Therefore, IUM would have no authority to direct anyone, whether staff or students, to engage or not engage in any business activities outside its boundaries. I respectfully advise you to contact the individuals mentioned directly,” Munyama added.

Deal

The owner of Rover Trading Enterprises, Wilfred Muller, said he entered into a commercial contractual relationship with IPC for a fixed period.

He said the company acquired a fleet of vehicles for business purposes.

“I was advised by an acquaintance that IPC is seeking to hire vehicles from tourist and car rental companies for their purposes,” he said.

According to Muller, this led to his contractual agreement with IPC.

However, Muller declined to share details of the agreement with this publication.

He asserted that his employment with IUM does not affect his private relationships with any entity he associates with for personal interests.

Muller also declined to respond to allegations of funds paid to his company by IUM and whether he transferred those funds to GWM and Shikamo Africa.

“I believe I have adequately addressed your concerns about my legitimate contractual relationship with IPC. Regrettably, I have nothing else to add,” he said.

When approached for comment, IPC spokesperson Imms Nashinge declined to respond, stating, “We don’t work for IUM. You have your information, and it has nothing to do with us. Just go to the colleagues involved. We are IPC, not IUM,” he said.

IPC announced they bought 101 GWM P-Series double-cabs for over N$40 million. The price shown on the GWM Namibia website indicates that one vehicle costs N$549 900.

The party has not provided information regarding its source of funding.

According to section 141 of the Electoral Act, political parties or their members may receive and accept funding or donations up to a prescribed limit for any financial year to be used for campaigning, provided such funds and their sources are publicly disclosed and the details of such funding are declared to the Electoral Commission of Namibia in the prescribed manner and time.

However, the Regulations of the Act do not specify the timeframe or limit of donations to be received by political parties.

The Ministry of Justice is currently working on a draft regulation that specifies the limits of the donations.

IUM is regarded as a non-profit organisation, which is regulated by Companies Act No 24 of 2004. The law prohibits a non-profit organisation from using its resources to fund the promotion of a political object.

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