The former deputy chairperson of the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank, Enock Kamushinda, took part in the looting of the bank when some N$247 million (about US$15 million) was stolen from it before its closure in 2017, according to findings made in a judgement delivered in the Windhoek High Court.
Kamushinda not only knew the SME Bank was being defrauded while he was serving as one of the bank’s directors since its inception in March 2011 until the Bank of Namibia had the bank wound up in July 2017, but he and two of his companies also received money stolen from the bank, acting judge Collins Parker found.
The findings were made in a judgement that dealt Kamushinda and the SME Bank’s two Zimbabwean minority shareholders a heavy blow, with Parker declaring Kamushinda responsible for the liabilities of the SME Bank.
Kamushinda, his company World Eagle Investments, and the Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe (Metbank), were also declared liable for the debts of the SME Bank.
In addition to that Parker also granted a judgement against Kamushinda, World Eagle Properties and Metbank for the payment of N$1.02 billion to the liquidators of the SME Bank.
He further granted a judgement against Metbank and World Eagle Properties for the payment of N$121 million and N$20 million respectively to the SME Bank’s liquidators in respect of the two shareholders’ outstanding payments for their shares in the SME Bank.
Kamushinda, Metbank and World Eagle Investments in April last year filed an application in the High Court in which they asked the court to declare that the Bank of Namibia violated their constitutional rights by closing down the SME Bank.
At the start of the hearing of the case in August this year, one of their lawyers, Steve Rukoro, informed the court his clients were withdrawing their application – but by then a counter-application by the SME Bank’s liquidators, Ian McLaren and David Bruni, had been filed and remained before the court to be heard.
In the counter-application, McLaren and Bruni asked the court for the orders granted by Parker yesterday.
The judge found that evidence placed before the court showed “Kamushinda has taken part, or concurred, in the carrying on of the business of the SME Bank recklessly or fraudulently”.
He also stated: “If the truth be told, it is plain that the moneys stolen from the SME Bank were for Kamushinda’s personal gain, not for the benefit or prosperity of the SME Bank. The conduct of Kamushinda evinces a lack of any genuine concern for the SME Bank’s prosperity.”
Parker said according to evidence which the liquidators provided to the court, they have found that more than N$247 million had been transferred from accounts of the SME Bank and stolen by Kamushinda through his companies Crown Finance and Heritage Investments.
“No other adjective than ‘stolen’ can sufficiently and affirmatively describe the act perpetrated against the funds of the SME Bank,” the judge said.
He said the theft was orchestrated through the transfer of funds totalling some N$247,5 million to a South African entity, Asset Movement and Financial Services (AMFS), and that most of the stolen money had also been transferred back to Namibia and “directly into the fraudulent corporate entities of Mr Kamushinda”.
Rukoro and instructing lawyer Francois Bangamwabo represented Kamushinda, Metbank and World Eagle Investments.
Senior counsel Raymond Heathcote, with co-counsel Jesse Schickerling and instructing lawyer Corlia Maritz, represented the SME Bank liquidators.