SONA: President implored to speak on corruption

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Albertina Nakale
Windhoek

The official opposition DTA yesterday said it wants to see President Hage Geingob respond on taxpayers’ missing money, which runs into millions of dollars without any decisive action having been taken against culprits.

Geingob is slated to deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA) this afternoon in the National Assembly, where members of parliament will engage him on issues of national interest.

When New Era asked Venaani what he expected from today’s SONA, the DTA leader said he wants the president to address fundamental issues.

These include the GIPF’s missing N$660 million, the SME Bank’s questionable N$200 million investment in South Africa, the alleged inflated construction costs for the Walvis Bay fuel storage facility and the billions owed by Angola after a high-level currency exchange deal went sour. The Bank of Namibia seized control of the partially state-owned SME Bank last month after it allegedly discovered that N$200 million had flowed into South African financial institutions in ‘unsound investments’.

The fuel storage facility, under construction at Walvis Bay harbour, was to initially cost about N$700 million but costs have skyrocketed to over N$5 billion, according to reports.

New Era understands that Geingob has taken a firm stand on the issue and it is speculated that heads would roll because of the manner it was handled.
Venaani said: “A tender was increased from N$3 billion to N$7 billion for the new airport.”

The Supreme Court recently vindicated Geingob’s intervention in the matter by ruling in favour of the government after the president had personally ordered that the awarding of the airport tender to a Chinese company be set aside.
Venaani said the president must be ready to answer on the progress in that regard this afternoon.

“What is his (Geingob’s) stance on corruption and what is he doing with the GIPF report or has he not done anything on it?

“The state of our economy – don’t come tell us we are having headwinds. Tell us the problems of downgrading. Tell us the problems of the economy – do we have money? Why are the Angolans owing us N$5 billion through the exchange rate and we are keeping quiet about it? What is the effect of the economy on the general populace,” Venaani said.

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