Staff Reporter Windhoek Information and Communication Technology Minister Tjekero Tweya yesterday took a swipe at some local media establishments for largely ignoring President Hage Geingob’s year-end review on Wednesday and instead focus on side issues, such as the latest regarding the President’s private business. Tweya said the year-end media conference at State House, which has become an annual installment, was called to help inform the nation through the local media about the performance of government for the year 2017. “This is part of the President’s commitment to transparency and accountability,” Tweya said. However, he said, government was “perplexed by the approach taken by some of the local newspapers, which chose to ignore the main message and objective of the press conference and focus on side issues, including the so-called presidential township”. “I wish to point out that the media twisted, misrepresented and got the facts wrong,” Tweya said. It was widely reported yesterday that President Geingob revealed that he has relinquished his stake in African Sunrise, a company his family trust co-owned with Chinese multi-millionaire Jack Huang. Geingob did not divulge to whom he sold his stake and for how much, and the media pounced on this aspect for their headlines yesterday. “The facts are that the Hage Geingob Family Trust held interest in African Sunrise, a company that is in the process of developing a real estate project, east of Windhoek. He declared this publicly as part of his declaration of assets after he became President. Subsequently, as recommended by PwC, who advised the President on the public declaration of his assets, the Trust sold its interests in African Sunrise,” Tweya said. “This means that the family Trust is no longer connected to African Sunrise and the real estate project in any way.” “Thus, to insinuate that the President is still connected to African Sunrise through his children is a distortion of the truth and a continued attempt to smear and drag the President’s name in the mud.” The N$1 billion private township would see about 400 high-end apartments constructed just outside Windhoek. “Naturally, it was our expectation that in keeping with the spirit and objective of the press conference as articulated by the President, the media houses present should have given more prominence to the implementation of government programmes as outlined by the President and the ministers who spoke,” Tweya said, while urging the media to steer clear of sensationalism and focus on things that matter. On Wednesday, Geingob said: “I have no township. The township is gone, so drop my name from the township.” He said prior to the sale that the land was initially bought for private business and he publicly declared such intentions.
2017-12-15 09:07:16 9 months ago