Incarcerated social justice activist Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and forex trader Michael Amushelelo have roped in lawyer Kadhila Amoomo as they seek clarity on the specifics of a pending investigation into their housing scheme by the central bank.
Last week, New Era reported that the Bank of Namibia will investigate the Nauyoma and Amushelelo housing initiative which promises to deliver affordable housing.
Dated 1 July, the letter seen by this newspaper is addressed to Bank of Namibia (BoN) governor Johannes !Gawaxab.
“Is it so that the Bank of Namibia is currently investigating the Property Group Save Namibia (PGSN)? If it is indeed true that Property Group Save Namibia is being investigated, why has there not been any formal notice to Property Group Save Namibia inasfar as these investigations are concerned?” Amoomo wanted to know.
In addition, he expressed dismay that his clients only got to find out through the media about the potential investigation.
“Is it in accordance with the policies of the Bank of Namibia that the subjects of investigations are alerted through the media?” he asked.
He further wanted to know in terms of which laws the investigations are being undertaken, and their subsequent duration. The lawyer gave the bank until 7 July 2022 to respond to the letter.
He then turned to New Era, accusing the paper of not giving his clients an opportunity to “comment on the article before publishing the same”.
The contrary is true.
At the time of the article’s publication, efforts to get comment from both Nauyoma and Amushelelo were futile as they were in custody.
However, Nauyoma clarified PGSN’s business activities in a separate interview in April on Namibian Sun’s talk show, The Evening Review.
He maintained PGSN was part of a bigger economic struggle, adding that he was tired of being an Affirmative Repositioning (AR) poster boy.
“We made a conscious decision to enter the business sphere. We are talking about genuine economic emancipation in our lifetime. How are we going to do that? It is not by being on a poster [or] by being at a protest,” he stated.
He then dismissed claims that their initiative benefited in any way from Job Amupanda’s stint as Windhoek mayor.
“We never bought this land from the City of Windhoek. Never. We bought
this land from private individuals who own the land. We bought this land from white people,” Nauyoma added.
According to him, they will liberate many Namibians from the yoke of poverty through job creation and
housing provision. More so, this publication was unable to get comment from the duo yesterday during their court appearance. Police officers cited the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.
Additionally, Amoomo did not respond to detailed questions sent to
him on Monday regarding the same.
Technicalities and semantics
Responding to questions over the weekend, BoN’s spokesperson Kazembire Zemburuka confirmed receiving the legal notice.
While an assessment and an investigation can be used interchangeably, the bank insisted “suffice to state there is no investigation into the Property Group Save Namibia, but an assessment.”
“An assessment entails the evaluation of information at the bank’s disposal to determine whether a certain business practice falls within laws administered
by the bank,” Zemburuka stressed.
“An investigation, on the other hand, is a formal process conducted in terms of Section 6 of the Banking Institutions Act 1998, as amended, when a contravention of applicable laws is alleged.”
Last week, New Era reported about a potential investigation into the business operations of PGSN, whose modus operandi has been questioned by certain quarters. At present, PGSN is not registered as a building society in Namibia. A building society is a financial institution regulated by and owned by its members as a mutual organisation that offers banking and related financial services, especially savings and mortgage lending.
“The Bank of Namibia will conduct an assessment to establish whether the business activities of Property Group Save Namibia contravene any law administered by the bank,” Zemburuka said in response to questions.
Some members of the public have questioned the envisaged estate’s credibility.
Their fear is mainly premised on the ownership of the land in Brakwater, where the settlement will be built, and why no applications have been made with the City of Windhoek for bulk services
or any other land-related matters.
According to its pamphlet, PGSN proposes to establish Brakwater Estate on Portion 60 (a portion of Portion H) of the Farm Brakwater no. 48.
Despite this, the city has welcomed the initiative with open arms, on condition that it is beyond reproach.
“Our doors are open to any developer with good initiatives in land and housing. Our advice to developers and aspiring developers is to follow the law,” city spokesperson Harold Akwenye said.
He was, however, cautious to provide more information.
He then cautioned Windhoek’s residents, whose desperation could make them vulnerable to dodgy housing schemes.