Former Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab wants to buy a second government property – in Swakopmund.
This surfaced in the National Assembly on Wednesday when official opposition leader McHenry Venaani gave notice that he wants to know from Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila if Gurirab is indeed in the process of acquiring the Swakopmund property.
Gurirab acquired his Klein Windhoek house through government’s alienation scheme, with speculation now rife that he was trying to acquire the Swakopmund property under the same scheme.
Venaani also wants to know the market value of the Swakopmund property and government’s policy on government officials acquiring more than one property under the alienation scheme.
Gurirab went into forced retirement in March after failing to get any posting in government after having served since independence in various capacities, which included being prime minister.
Government houses sold under the alienation scheme are sold below market value. Despite the speculation, it is not known whether Gurirab wants to buy the house through the alienation scheme or at market value.
Efforts to get hold of Gurirab proved futile as his mobile phone went unanswered.
There have been claims that high-ranking officials have over the years received special treatment when it comes to acquiring state residential properties.
Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service Jerry Ekandjo during a budget debate indicated that the founding members of the country’s executive branch received houses from government when they entered office. Incumbent National Assembly Speaker Professor Peter Katjavivi yesterday confirmed yesterday that Gurirab had indicated that he wished to buy the Swakopmund property.
“I was vaguely informed that he wishes to buy the property, but I do not want to discuss such issues through the media because it is not proper to handle such issues through the media.”
Venaani also wants to know the retirement benefit packages for a prime minister, deputy prime minister and the Speaker of the National Assembly as well as the procedures followed in determining the composition of the packages.
The Ministry of Works and Transport Permanent Secretary Peter Mwatile yesterday refused to divulge any details, only saying that the ministry has received the questions posed by Venaani in the National Assembly and that minister Alpheus !Naruseb would answer the questions in parliament.
Meanwhile, an official in the Swakopmund Town Council confirmed to New Era yesterday that the property is still owned by government through the National Assembly.