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Corruption Allegation in Namibia involves 5G deal with Huawei

As the “Five Eyes Alliance” countries are taking countermeasures against China’s telecom giant Huawei, Huawei continues to accelerate its expansion in Africa.

Al Jazeera ran an exclusive report on July 15 that Brunhilde Cornelius, a city councilor in Namibia’s capital city Windhoek, disclosed that, in order for Huawei to obtain an exclusive contract for 5G network construction in the city, a local politician was bribed and asked to give up her opposition to the deal.

Earlier this year, Cornelius publicly opposed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the city council and Huawei. According to Al Jazeera, Cornelius filed a charge with the police on June 19. Cornelius, who is also the secretary-general of the opposition Rally for the Democracy and Progress Party (RDP), alleged the bribe was offered by Nicanor Ndjoze, her colleague who is also the RDP’s director of elections. Ndjoze allegedly paid bribes on behalf of his nephew, Reckliff Kandjiriomuini, the head of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) division of the City of Windhoek (COW).

Cornelius said that Ndjoze mentioned a bonus fund of about US$2.4 million, which could be used for potential beneficiaries of the deal that would give Huawei the exclusive right to develop local 5G network construction. She was told that she could receive an amount between US$300,000 and US$360,000 dollars. According to Cornelius, Ndjoze told her on May 12 that she could get the money if she gave up her opposition to the MOU. Allegedly, Ndjoze also told Cornelius that his nephew, Kandjiriomuini, led the transaction with Huawei. Kandjiriomuini hoped that Ndjoze would help persuade his party members to accept bribes and sign the MOU.

Andy Keiser, a former professional staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee testified before the U.S. Congress in June 2018, exposing that Huawei and ZTE have been subject to corruption investigations, charges, or corruption convictions in as many as 21 countries in the past 12 years. In 2009, Nuctech, a Chinese state-owned IT firm was involved in a bribery and corruption case in Namibia.

Source: Radio Free Asia, July 17, 2020