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MP wants probe into govt spending

2022-09-26  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

MP wants probe into govt spending

Rally for Democracy and Progress parliamentarian Mike Kavekotora has tabled a motion calling on government to conduct a thorough investigation and analysis on various “questionable” projects initiated by the authorities. 

According to him, the cost of some projects has been inflated above the initial tender amounts. “The probability is very high that taxpayers’ money is being misappropriated and fraudulently misdirected through tenders and projects initiated by the government and other institutions through unsolicited means,” Kavekotora told fellow lawmakers while tabling the motion in the National Assembly last week. 

He claimed nearly N$47 million was paid to London-based lawyers in the name of the Ovaherero and Nama genocide matter. 

“I have had the opportunity to review documentation on this subject. What became clear was that while the Queen’s Council lawyers were doing the work, a Namibian briefcase lawyer was planted there, and a significant portion of the N$47 million was paid over to this briefcase lawyer,” he stated. 

Kavekotora added that another smart project strategised in a similar fashion is the Fishrot scandal, which he claimed benefited a few individuals, including officials connected to the ruling party Swapo. 

“It will be foolish and naive to assume that these two examples are just isolated incidents. I submit to this August House that self-enrichment and using the official positions for self-gratification have become the culture and the adopted norm of this government,” he said. Thus, assuming that everything is above board and that all projects initiated by the government are in the best interest of the people would be a mistake. “If that was the case, it could have been reflected in the economic indicators,” he stressed. 

Kavekotora said the only way to understand the real objective and what went on behind the scenes is to subject government tenders and projects to a value-for-money test, and to explain the variance between the initial project cost and the final project price. 

Other questionable projects that require further investigation, he observed, include the Walvis Bay oil storage facility, which was inflated from N$3.4 billion to around N$7.4 billion; the Neckartal Dam construction project, which was inflated from N$5.2 billion to N$7.8 billion; and the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) headquarters, whose cost was inflated from N$70 million to N$98 million.

Others are the N$8.2 billion Covid-19 relief money not fully accounted for; the SME Bank, of which about N$240 million disappeared into thin air; and the Kora awards, where government, through the Namibia Tourism Board, paid N$23 million to a foreign organiser without the awards being held. 

“We also have the Guardian Fund of N$1.6 million, the brainchild of Sacky Shanghala, the Outapi correctional services’ earthworks amounting to N$650 million and no facilities, and NDF farm purchases inflated from N$16 million to N$98 million without any explanation to date,” continued Kavekotora. 

“The Mpacha airport renovation worth N$194 million? How was it awarded, despite the limited resources and a moratorium on development projects?” he questioned. 

“These and other projects demand answers from the executive. The nation needs to know how their resources are being utilised, and for whose benefit. Those in the executive found to be abusing state resources must be brought to book, charged and pay back what they have misappropriated,” said Kavekotora.

2022-09-26  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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