Chinese telecom giant, Huawei, has found itself mired in corruption allegations in Namibia. The corruption allegations arose from plans by the country’s capital City, Windhoek, to install an internet network that will enable 5G connections in Namibia’s capital.
A recent Aljazeera exclusive reveals that city councillor Brunhilde Cornelius filed an affidavit alleging claims of corruption in the city’s 5G plans.
Cornelius claims that Nicanor Ndjoze, a fellow member of the opposition party she also belows, “referred to a 40 million NAD ($2.4m) slush fund available for potential beneficiaries of the deal that would give Huawei exclusive rights to develop the infrastructure for a 5G telecommunication network”.
Cornelius also claims that she was offered 5-6 million NAD ($300,000 – $360,000) to drop her objections and allow the city council to approve the signing of the MoU between Namibia’s capital city and Huawei following her opposition earlier this year to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two.
Reports say there is no evidence Huawei has any knowledge of these events.
These allegations come months after Namibia was rocked by several Fishrot files corruption scandals which led to the resignation and detention of two government ministers – the former Minister of Justice Sacky Shanghala and the former Minister of Fisheries Bernhard Esau for corruption, money laundering and fraud.
Huawei is caught between the US and China in a global 5G battle.
The company built Britains 5G networks and is on track to build Germany’s, as the U.S. hasn’t provided any alternatives. The New York Times explained that, “Washington tried to contain China’s influence and power and ensure that the world’s second-largest economy does not come to dominate advanced industries that could give it an economic and military edge. That includes the next-generation telecommunications networks that Huawei is building, known as 5G. Those superfast networks will control communications, critical infrastructure and, most worrying for American officials, the ‘internet of things’ devices that are already controlling factories, autonomous vehicles and the day-to-day operations of military bases.”
The company’s plans to capture the African market may be stalled should corruption allegations continue to surface.