GIPF probe too slow – NUNW

September 12, 2014, 3:38pm

 

GIPF probe too slow – NUNW

… Still waiting for answers on missing N$660 million

WINDHOEK -The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) has expressed concern about the slow pace at which investigations into the missing N$660 million belonging to the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) are being conducted.

The NUNW, which was given a mandate by workers during its last congress to see that the GIPF money is recovered, urged investigators to expedite the process so that it can be finalised.

The investigations into how GIPF allegedly dished out money as investments in companies in the late 1990s and early 2000s – estimated to be over N$660 million – continue with no definite end in sight.

A South African company, Nexus Forensic Services, was roped in nearly four years ago to conduct the investigations.

Many of the beneficiaries failed to repay the loans while others are repaying in minimal amounts.

It was reported some months ago that seven companies implicated in the saga were found not guilty of any wrongdoing and cleared.

NUNW’s Acting Secretary General Job Muniaro says the union understands that the investigations require a lot of work but bemoaned the time taken thus far with not much to show.

“The union has not given up on the GIPF issue hence we continue to follow up by asking how far the investigations have gone,” Muniaro said.

“We know there are many factors involved and that it is not only the police investigating, but the investigations should be faster and we expected them to be completed by now.

“When money is involved it is always a sensitive matter but we need to be briefed now and again on how far the investigations are since it is our money.”

Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga told New Era that the police investigations into the matter are continuing.

“There is nothing new on that issue apart from what we presented last time. The dockets have not been completed yet,” Ndeitunga said.

Muniaro said many of the companies that received the GIPF money failed in their pledge to both create jobs and repay the state pension fund.

“It is a huge amount of money we are talking about which of course was given to people who promised to create employment who then ended up not using the money for the purposes for which they applied for it,” he said.

“We are all responsible to maintain peace therefore we are consulting in an orderly manner instead of doing it in a rude way which will certainly not solve the problem.

NUNW, the Swapo-affiliated union federation, has a membership of over 70 000 workers.

“We were promised by those in the judiciary that they will provide us with a convincing investigation,” said Muniaro.

“We have full confidence and trust in our judiciary system therefore we are giving them a chance to do their work.”

Earlier this year, the head of the Crime Investigation Department in the Namibian Police, Commissioner Nicholas Endjala, was quoted saying that investigations into the GIPF investment scandal had cleared seven companies of prosecution because they were found to have honoured their obligations.

“We have made tremendous progress and are fulfilling the instructions of the PG and are prioritizing the dockets,” Endjala was quoted by the Namibian Sun.

According to the media report, Endjala said the GIPF investigation comprised 23 dockets on various companies, institutions or groups, of which seven had been let off the hook.

In 2010 when government spokesperson and Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Joel Kaapanda, announced Cabinet’s plan of action on the GIPF saga, he warned that “anybody who would be found to have done anything illegal would face the full wrath of the law”.

Cabinet at the time resolved that the Office of the Prime Minister, as a matter of urgency, bids to identify companies to conduct a forensic audit of GIPF’s infamous Development Capital Portfolio (DCP). The South African firm has since been contracted to carry out an in-depth investigation.

Courtesy New Era