Following the example of President Hage Geingob, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein yesterday publicly declared his assets, indicating that his total net asset value is slightly less than N$8 million.
The public declaration, which was verified by an independent chartered accountant, makes Schlettwein the first Cabinet minister in President Geingob’s administration to declare his assets ahead of the extended deadline of today.
“For me it (declaring assets) is an implicit obligation. If the president is doing it why should we not also do it?” asked Schlettwein in the Ministry of Finance boardroom, accompanied by independent chartered accountant Arne Stier from Stier Vente Associates, which verified the declaration.
“I believe that as the custodian of public finances it is important that I share with you what I own and how I have accumulated my personal assets. I personally decided to do so voluntarily, because I believe that transparency and accountability is pivotal to good governance and for developing our nation into a just and prosperous society,” Schlettwein noted.
In the signed declaration Schlettwein’s major property assets are listed as a N$3.5 million house in Klein Windhoek and a N$923 000 flat in Swakopmund. He is, incidentally, improving the Klein Windhoek house, which he initially bought for N$75 000 in 1984.
By the end of January Schlettwein had invested approximately N$1.2 million into the house’s improvements, which will substantially increase the value of the property once completed.
In terms of vehicles and other immovable property, Schlettwein has five vehicles listed, with the latest being a 2010 Mercedes Benz E200 Estate Avantgarde valued at N$284 000. The insured value of his household goods is recorded as N$1.18 million.
For cash and cash investments Schlettwein listed four First National Bank accounts and two Sanlam Namibia investments. The total value of the four FNB accounts is N$659 541.
In terms of endowment policies and retirement annuity funds Schlettwein listed five Sanlam Namibia policies and annuities.
Overall, taking into account liabilities of close to N$120 000 and subtracting that from the listed assets of N$7.9 million, his total net asset value is listed at N$7 829 970. However, this figure does not include benefits of assets receivable, relating to the Members of Parliament and other Office Bearers Pension Fund and the Government Institutions Pension Fund.
As a retired civil servant Schlettwein receives a monthly pension of about N$12 000 (after tax) in addition to his salary as a political office bearer. The pension includes a once-off gratuity (one-third tax free lump sum pay-out) of N$1.5 million.
The pension benefits were based on 30 years of active service, plus 10 additional years as a result of four completed five-year contracts as permanent secretary.
In the signed declaration Schlettwein also noted that he is married out of community of property and that none of his assets are held in his wife’s nor anyone else’s name.
He also denied having any offshore accounts and being involved in any private businesses.
“I live in Namibia and all my assets are here,” Schlettwein concluded.