Swapo’s secretary for information and mobilisation Hilma Nicanor has said the ruling party’s financial records and audited reports are still available for members of the public who are interested in inspecting them.
The party has been criticised for allegedly benefitting from the corruption and money laundering activities in the fishing industry, dubbed the Fishrot scandal, that rocked the country.
Speaking at a press conference in the capital yesterday, Nicanor said the records paint a clear picture that the party never benefitted from the Fishrot scandal.
Swapo’s politburo earlier this year removed former Cabinet ministers Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala from its top decision-making structures.
Esau served as both politburo and central committee member, while Shanghala served in the central committee.
“It is a pity. Now you want Swapo to apparently say ‘yes, we have received money [in] our accounts’. Unfortunately, you will not find it,” said Nicanor.
The party continues to assert that it never received funding through corruption-tainted politicians, and particularly the Fishrot scandal.
Last year, senior Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigator Willem Olivier in July 2020 testified in court that N$15 million and N$2.5 million were paid into local lawyer Sisa Namandje’s trust account under the reference “governmental objectives”.
He indicated the transactions were flagged as suspicious.
Part of this money was used for vehicles, personal loans and other items.
Olivier testified that investigations have revealed the funds were used for the Swapo elections campaign.
On the issue of business opportunities for Swapo members, Nicanor said there is a serious onslaught on the characters of party members and affiliates who engage in economic activities, as there is no law that prohibits them from engaging in business.
Therefore, Swapo leaders, members, supporters, as well as their families should not tolerate any shaming for pursuing economic opportunities and growth under the laws of the country.
“As Namibians, who fought for the liberation of this country, we will continue to pursue our democratic right to engage in non-corrupt and legitimate economic activities,” explained Nicanor.
She said despite the party losing its two-thirds majority in parliament, it remains relevant – and such loss should not be seen as a sign of defeat.