KATIMA MULILO - State witnesses expected to testify in the case of alleged corruption of the CEO of the Katima Mulilo Town Council, Raphael Liswaniso, are unhappy that the CEO was recently allowed to return to work after his bail conditions which prevented him from going near the council premises were relaxed by the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court.
Liswaniso had been on forced leave for about three months after he was charged with corruption, fraud and contravening the Procurement Act in August, after he allegedly awarded a tender after he was ordered not to do so by the procurement review committee.
However, Liswaniso’s return has not been well received by all council employees, as many have questioned why he has returned to the office at all. “The initial bail conditions prevented him from interfering with state witnesses, but now he is going to work with the same people who are potential state witnesses, and some of them have already testified against him, how will that work out?” questioned a source who spoke to New Era on condition of anonymity. The source further stated council should have conducted its own investigation, and suspended Liswaniso after he was charged by the court. “The town council’s industrial relations policy is very clear, he was charged with fraud by the court so council should have made its investigations and suspended him,” said the source.
Contacted for comment, Katima Mulilo Mayor Georgina Mwiya-Simataa stated that council had no choice but to welcome Liswaniso back to office after the court relaxed his bail conditions.
She further explained that council never conducted an investigation where its CEO was charged, as they are also waiting on the outcome of the courts, and as a result they cannot prevent him from returning to his office and he has not yet been convicted on the allegations that he faces.
“Council never charged him, because the investigations never came from us. We were just informed by the Central Procurement Board that they were investigating our CEO, and since then we have been waiting from them for a way forward,” she said.
Liswaniso’s bail conditions were relaxed despite that a group of more than 500 people who were against his bail conditions signed a petition which they handed over to the office of the prosecutor. In the petition in possession of New Era, the group argued that should Liswaniso’s bail conditions be relaxed and he is allowed to go back to office, “he will temper on hiding/deleting evidence against him in all departments.” Liswaniso it set to return to court on February 27, 2019.
2018-11-28 10:21:21 9 months ago