Nudo wants presidential inquiry into SME Bank

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The spokesperson of the opposition National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) presidential, Joseph Kauandenge, says his party wants President Hage Geingob to institute a commission of inquiry into suspected dubious dealings at the embattled SME Bank, which has reportedly lost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Nudo wants the president to institute such inquiry without delay, following the scandal that saw the bank embroiled in highly questionable dealings, that resulted in its board and top executives being “disempowered” from their functions by the Bank of Namibia.

“It is regrettable that looking to the founding aims and objectives of the said bank, it was a bank that was aimed at those Namibian small businesses that could not get loans from mainstream banks and financial institutions to have another way of securing funds in order to grow their businesses,” he said.

Kauandenge, however, noted that it was not clear whether SME Bank had in fact been hijacked, like the Black Economic Empowerment initiatives, by already well-off leaders, who could have easily gone to commercial banks and obtained loans there to expand their farms or businesses.

“The end result is the untenable and regrettable situation that genuine small businesses have now to compete with well-connected politicians and businesspeople when applying for loans… which 10 out of 10 always renders them at the receiving end and their chances of securing these loans become even less of a prospect,” he said.

Kauandenge said it was mindboggling the extent to which some political leaders and government officials have sought to enrich themselves and to benefit from an empowerment process aimed at benefiting the most vulnerable in society.

“We, therefore, call upon the President to establish a commission of enquiry at this bank, so that we can see who those greedy leaders are… they must be shamed publicly and they must be made to account and repay every last cent to the bank, so that this money can be given back to the people who really need it.”

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