SA firm roped in to probe GIPF
The GIPF issue has been dragging on for six years and with the latest development it was decided to appoint a South African company to conduct the fifth investigation into the millions that went missing from loans granted to companies through the Development Capital Portfolio of the Government Institutions Pension Fund.
The forensic investigation into various allegations of irregular transactions or misconduct in respect of the Development Capital Portfolio (DCP) of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) - dragging on for years now - has been stalled yet again.
This time the Police have admitted that they do not have the capacity to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the GIPF scandal and to lay charges against those implicated in the mismanagement of more than N$660 million.
“It seems the Office of the Prime Minister is not serious and somehow I get the feeling that Government wants to waste time - so that the issue slowly disappears - or that someone is trying to protect some of the culprits,” said a surprised Evilastus Kaaronda, Secretary General of the National Union of the Namibian Workers (NUNW).
The first investigation into the DCP of the GIPF was completed towards the end of 2005 and was conducted by the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa), while the Fund’s trustees also investigated the issue and selectively released a report in 2007.
When pressure mounted among the workers, with Kaaronda spearheading it, a resolution was taken at the NUNW’s congress that Government should deal with the GIPF issue as a matter of urgency.
The newly elected NUNW president Elias Manga called shortly after the Congress on Government to act on the Development Capital Portfolio (DCP) scandal and bring to book those found guilty of mismanaging the fund.
The issue was then taken to Cabinet and it was decided that the Auditor-General, Junias Kandjeke, should conduct a forensic investigation into the GIPF saga.
In December 2010 he released his report to Cabinet and that same month the Office of the Prosecutor General tasked the Police to carry out an investigation into all companies that were granted loans through the DCP.
“How many times must the issue still be investigated and why was the Police not part of the Auditor-General’s report? Why should the taxpayers again pay millions for another company to investigate the GIPF scandal? I doubt whether the Prime Minister is serious to bring justice to this matter,” Kaaronda told Namibian Sun.
The Police instituted an investigation team of detectives who started working on the issue, which they then found was highly complex and beyond the capacity of their investigators.
A South African company, Nexus Forensic Services, has been identified. The cost of contracting its services would be in the range of N$6 million and the Ministry of Safety and Security did not make provision for this expenditure in its budget and also does not have savings to fund this service.
“There is a lot of secrecy surrounding the GIPF investigation. This should be a public matter since it was the workers’ money that was squandered. The President should only appoint a dedicated team to carry on with the investigation as it seems that the Office of the Prime Minister just wants to drag its feet in this sensitive matter,” said Kaaronda.
It will take Nexus Forensic Services another nine months to conduct the investigation, expected to be completed towards the end of this year.