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Declare or else

2023-08-04  Edward Mumbuu

Declare or else

*33 lawmakers dragged for asset declaration failure
*12 MPs pocket N$1 million in Russian trip  


With two members of Parliament, the United Democratic Front is the only political party represented in the National Assembly with a 100% asset declaration record.

Its two MPs - president Apius Auchab and vice president Dudu Murorua - have declared their assets for the current political calendar year.

All other political formations in the National Assembly (NA) have either one or more members who have failed to reveal their assets or business interests.

The parties were given until yesterday to comply with the rule or face consequences, internal memos seen by this reporter reveal.

The initial cut-off date for submissions of asset declaration forms was 7 July 2023.

“In order to avoid being reported as not complying with maintaining the highest standards of propriety to ensure that their integrity and that of the political institutions that they serve are beyond reproach, the members are kindly requested to submit their forms on or before Thursday, 3 August 2023,” NA secretary Lydia Kandetu pleaded with the MPs.  

Leading the pack is the ruling Swapo Party with 16 MPs failing to declare their possessions. Among them are Cabinet minister Yvonne Dausab, Anna Nghipondoka, Christine //Hoebes, Jennely Matundu, Alexia Manombe-Ncube, Hilma Nicanor and Swapo Party Youth League head honcho, Ephraim Nekongo.

The Popular Democratic Movement is in second place with seven MPs who have elected not to disclose what they own.

Party leader McHenry Venaani, his father Mike Venaani, erstwhile NA chief whip Vipuakuje Muharukua, Hidipo Hamata, Inna Hengari, Winnie Moongo and Reginald Diergaardt had all not submitted their asset declaration forms by yesterday.

In the orange army of the Landless People’s Movement, leader and chief change campaigner Bernadus Swartbooi, Edson Isaaks and Utaara Mootu also failed to declare their wealth and interests.

Meanwhile, the red barret duo of the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters - president Epafras Mukwiilongo and Kalimbo Iipumbu have also not declared.

The same goes for National Unity Democratic Organisation president Utjiua Muinjangue and secretary general Joseph Kauandenge.

Christian Democratic Voice leader Gotthard Kandume, Swanu’s Tangeni Iijambo, and new Rally for Democracy and Progress MP, Mathias Mbundu too have not declared their interests.


Over the years, the declaration of assets and income by MPs has been a thorny issue in Namibian politics. At face value, disclosures of MPs’ financial interests are seen as a key anti-corruption measure.

The disclosure systems also help prevent corruption, “because the public can monitor unusual activities, and disclosure creates a culture of openness and public service. At the same time, they can be used to enforce anti-corruption measures, because knowledge of members’ financial matters can be used as evidence in proceedings,’’ reads a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Last declaration

Last year’s asset declaration by MPs showed that relatively new MPs had no assets to their names.

Those who owned nothing last year included LPM’s Mootu, PDM’s Hengari, Moongo (PDM) and Swapo Party’s Emma Theofelus.

At the time, Kandetu said when MPs declare nothing, it is either they genuinely own no assets, or simply ignore and undermine the asset registration exercise.

This is exemplified by labour minister Utoni Nujoma - a staunch critic of the asset registration exercise - who did not disclose his assets in the last register, despite having in the past declared a number of significant assets in the preceding year, including property in Japan.

“Our office has no enforcing power to compel MPs to declare their assets. Some of the MPs ignore this process, while it is required by law,” Kandetu stated then.

MPs are required to declare their shareholding and financial interests in companies, remunerative work outside of Parliament, directorships, partnerships, sponsorships, gifts, discounts, property ownership, the value of their pensions, trusts and their spouses and children’s interests where the members benefit directly or indirectly.

Russian trip 

What is more, for the just-concluded Russia-Africa summit, the NA also dispatched a strong delegation that accompanied vice president Nangolo Mbumba. 

To foot the travel and subsistence allowance bill, Parliament splashed more than N$1 million on the 12 MPs. 

The politicians are Leevi Katoma, Modestus Amutse, Murorua, Elma Dienda, Sebastian Karupu, Evelyn Nawases-Taeyele, Muharukua and Iijambo. 

Swapo’s Tjekero Tweya, Natangwe Iithete, Gideon Shuuya and Namasiku Lizazi complete the Russian entourage. 

The NA has set aside close to N$15 million for traveling-related expenditures for the next three months. 

“We are under a lot of pressure. Our lawmakers just want to travel instead of attending to issues on the ground. They want to go to China for an unemployment benchmarking exercise. But why don’t they go to a country like Botswana, whose demographics are similar to ours,” an insider complained. 



2023-08-04  Edward Mumbuu

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