Cabinet must intervene in SME Bank saga: DTA

02 Apr 2017 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 02 APR (NAMPA) – The DTA of Namibia has called for an intervention and assistance to the Bank of Namibia (BoN) in holding accountable those responsible for mismanagement at the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Bank.
In a statement on Sunday, DTA Treasurer-General Nico Smit suggested that Government instruct the Minister of Finance and Cabinet to assist the central bank.
He expressed concern that continued silence and inaction by Cabinet would confirm the ranks are closed around the politically connected and the public must accept that the money has disappeared, while nobody is held accountable.
“It is disappointing, though unsurprising, and speaks volumes that despite the direct involvement of the Secretary to Cabinet in this fracas, the Government and Cabinet have remained completely numb on this matter and have proceeded as if nothing untoward has happened.”
Smit made reference to an earlier statement in which he warned that if the SME Bank fracas is not handled properly it would be a repeat of the past.
“It will be another classic Namibian case of a lot of hot air thrown about and strongly worded statements declaring that investigations will be launched, and investigation committees will be appointed.
“But, at the end of the day nobody will actually be held to account or required to pay back the unsoundly invested funds.”
The Namibian newspaper reported last month, (22 March 2017) that the dismissed directors and executives through their lawyer, Sisa Namandje, are taking legal action against the BoN by filing a case against the central bank in the Windhoek High Court.
The executive’s request is for the court to set aside the BoN’s decision to disempower them and have them reinstated.
BoN early last month, (01 March 2017) announced it was assuming control of the SME Bank, which included disempowering the Board of Directors, appointing an interim one, and appointing an acting chief executive officer.
BoN Governor, Iipumbu Shiimi said at a media conference then that taking control of the bank’s operations, assets and liabilities, and appointing an interim board comes after it surfaced that certain investments posed a potential risk to the stability of the bank.