Police Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga is convinced some companies and individuals will be prosecuted for the N$660 million of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) that was unaccounted for.
Ndeitunga told New Era Weekend that the police have concluded investigations into some of the dockets and are waiting on the Office of the Prosecutor General for a decision on whether to prosecute or not.
GIPF was swindled about two decades ago out of some N$660 million in loans granted through its Development Capital Portfolio (DCP) to several local companies, some of whom had little or no track record of business, while others suspiciously went bankrupt after receiving the loans.
Over the years the police and the Office of the Prosecutor General have been playing ping-pong with the GIPF dockets, causing endless delays in the hunt for the missing millions.
In the past Ndeitunga has blamed the slow pace of progress on witnesses and suspects, who refuse to fully cooperate. However, during a recent interview he said: “The investigations of many dockets have been finalised, but there are those still under investigation.”
“What is important is the fact that some of the dockets are with Office of the Prosecutor General. Soon we’ll see some of them going to court,” Ndeitunga opined.
This suggests some companies and individuals involved could face civil or criminal trials over the questionable investment deals.
In 2014, the police cleared seven companies of wrongdoing, because they were found to have honoured their obligations.
It was further confirmed recently that the police are finalising the instructions of Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa with regard to four dockets that are expected to be returned to her by the end of August.
At the time, the police Crime Investigation Department (CID) and a South African company, Nexus Forensic Services, were conducting a forensic audits into 23 dockets.
Evilastus Kaaronda, the outspoken leader of the Namibia National Labour Organisation (Nanlo), is pessimistic about the latest developments and maintains he is yet to be convinced those involved will ever be prosecuted, as the case has dragged on for very long.
“If all things were equal under the law, the news about prosecuting people after a long time would have had me excited and I would jump, because justice is finally being served,” Kaaronda said.
“This matter has been coming on for some time and key people that would have been in a position to answer questions as to what happened have passed on… They are dead. I don’t know how their absence will affect the case,” he further remarked.
“This process was delayed deliberately. But if people are prosecuted in this matter, it will restore a lot of confidence in the system,” Kaaronda noted.
He continued: “Be that as it may, I do not have a lot of faith in the system. I don’t believe much will change, or that anybody will be prosecuted in this GIPF case.
“Some of us have been fighting for these things for a long time and we’re not that young to be fooled easily.”
Kaaronda, who was secretary general of the National Union of Namibia Workers (NUNW) at the time the GIPF saga surfaced, had previously indicated that the money can still be recovered, given that “the workers are determined to get answers and get their money”.
He has since founded a new union, Nanlo, and has vowed to follow up the GIPF saga once his forces reach full strength.
– This report was first published in New Era Weekend.