Presidency defers questions on GIPF millions

02 Sep 2019 17:21pm
WINDHOEK, 01 SEP (NAMPA) – The Presidency has declined to comment on the disappearance of N.dollars 660 million of taxpayers’ money from the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) and the admittance that those who looted the fund might never have a day in court.
This is after Prosecutor General (PG) Martha Imalwa said it was regrettable that pensioners’ money was lost at GIPF and that the money could not be traced due to lack of evidence.
When President Hage Geingob landed at Eros Airport on Saturday at around 23h00 from Japan, where he attended the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), he directed all queries from the local media that was waiting for him to the presidential spokesperson, Alfredo Hengari.
When approached, Hengari declined to comment on the GIPF saga nor did he suggest that Geingob planned to intervene.
The question follows calls over the last two weeks by opposition parties and legal bodies for Geingob to intervene in the matter and remove Imalwa from her position, citing gross incompetence.
“We are talking about TICAD here, the president’s participation in the TICAD meeting in Japan, so I don’t think that question [on GIPF] is relevant, as the feedback that we ought to provide is on the president’s participation in TICAD meetings,” Hengari said.
When pressed further, considering that Geingob normally addresses all issues - be it national or international during his interactions with journalists - Hengari insisted that questions around the GIPF saga were “misplaced”.
Throughout his term in office, Geingob has consistently preached about the ethos of good governance, transparency, accountability and how he despises corruption.
“That commitment to fight corruption, for transparency and accountability, that remains unchanged. You should also know that the president constantly emphasises the importance of the rule of law, the independence of institutions, so within that framework, you should understand that institutions will play their respective roles,” Hengari said when quizzed if it was the president’s hope that the money in question will be recovered.
On the outcome of the summit, the spokesperson described it as a “very important TICAD meeting”.
“The Japanese government committed important resources when it comes to training human resources in Africa and also driving the agenda of business development on the African continent through more investments by the Japanese private sector,” Hengari briefly stated.
He then explained why the importance of Geingob’s participation in these kinds of summits cannot be overemphasised.
“The meetings in Japan were attended by high-level individuals, presidents and director generals of multilateral institutions. So, the president and Namibia, in particular, must be present at these summits to have its voice heard and also to seize the opportunities that are available,” Hengari said.