President breaks silence on Huang ties

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WINDHOEK, 13 December 2016 - President Hage Geingob speaks at State House during a media conference on the review of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. (Photo by: Joseph Nekaya) NAMPA

Maria Amakali

Windhoek-President Hage Geingob yesterday explained his friendship with business tycoon and suspect in a N$3.5 billion criminal case, Yuiqua ‘Jack’ Huang, saying the fact he did not interfere when the businessman was arrested recently is testimony of how clean their relationship is.

Huang is among people implicated in a massive case of tax-evasion, fraud and money laundering – worth N$3.5 billion.

Officiating at the opening of the legal year yesterday at the Supreme Court, the President noted the occasion presented him an opportunity to comment on his relationship with Huang.

“When my ‘friend’ was arrested and had to spend a night in jail, there was no interference or intervention,” narrated Geingob. He emphasised that this only shows that in Namibia, the rule of law is upheld and the separation of powers for total independence of the judiciary system is guaranteed.

Huang was arrested on January 30 on charges linked to a massive alleged customs duties and foreign currency scam which subsequently cost the ministry of finance N$3, 5 billion in potential state income.

Some media houses brought the relationship under focus when Huang was granted bail of N$1 million.

“Namibian laws should be applied firmly and fairly no matter whom they may apply to; including family, friends, ‘business partners’ or any office bearer,” said the Head of State.

Geingob said that Huang offered to partake in the co-development of the property on the plot in Windhoek, which he jointly co-owned with his former wife.

Following the divorce from his former wife, the plot was placed on the market with the intention that the proceeds of the sale will be shared on a 50/50 basis, as per their divorce agreement.

He explained the offer was opened to all bidders, of which Old Mutual showed interest. It was at that particular stage that Huang offered to partake in the co-development of the property.

A legal advisor to the President several weeks back advised Geingob that in order to avoid the witch-hunt that has emanated from Huang’s arrest, it was in his best interest that he considers selling his family shares in this joint development – an advise the President said he is contemplating.

“It is therefore pertinent and opportune for me, while here at the Supreme Court, the fortress of justice, to inform the nation that I took an oath to uphold the Namibian Constitution and the laws of this country,” reiterated Geingob.

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