PAY BACK THE MONEY: Swapo parliamentarian Veikko Nekundi says the Popular Democratic Movement should pay back monies it used on six individuals who were not on the party's list for the National Assembly. PHOTO: FILE
PAY BACK THE MONEY: Swapo parliamentarian Veikko Nekundi says the Popular Democratic Movement should pay back monies it used on six individuals who were not on the party's list for the National Assembly. PHOTO: FILE

Nekundi wants PDM salaries paid back

Party unapologetic over parliament-list mishap
The official opposition leader opposed Nekundi's proposal, saying "he must go and recoup the money from Fishrot".
Ogone Tlhage
Swapo parliamentarian Veikko Nekundi says someone must be held accountable for monies paid to former Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliamentarians who did not appear on its list for the National Assembly but subsequently got into the August House.

He made the remarks during a question-and-answer session with National Assembly speaker Peter Katjavivi.

“Who is going to recoup the money that was paid to those who were illegally brought here? Who will be held accountable at the Electoral Commission of Namibia [ECN] for compromising the independence of that institution?” Nekundi asked.

According to him, PDM also had to be held to account for the scandal.

“When are we going to see them being held accountable?”

PDM hits back

PDM leader McHenry Venaani said it was not Nekundi's business how the party handled its finances and who it was paying.

"I don't think it's his business. If Swapo is paying their secretary-general the salary of a deputy prime minister, that is their choice. How PDM does its operations has nothing to do with Swapo, it's just hogwash," he said.

Nekundi's remarks were a ploy for him to gain favour from Swapo presidential hopeful, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Venaani added.

"Nekundi is looking for relevance and is hellbent on becoming a minister."

Venaani also called on Nekundi to account for Fishrot money he is alleged to have received in 2017, which was reportedly paid into his account through the trust account of DHC Incorporated, the law firm of disgraced lawyer Maren de Klerk.

"He received money from Fishrot. Did he pay back the money from Fishrot?”

Another PDM parliamentarian, Elma Dienda, also took aim at Nekundi, saying the matter would be appropriately discussed when lawmakers openly discuss the Fishrot corruption scandal for which former ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhardt Esau are currently in jail, awaiting trial.

“We will discuss it... the moment we discuss Fishrot money which was stolen. We will discuss everything, including the Fishrot money you stole,” she told Nekundi.

While not addressing the matter head on, Katjavivi told lawmakers the ECN had taken note and would issue appropriate responses on questions asked in parliament.

Landmark ruling

PDM was thrust into a state of chaos in May 2022 after the Supreme Court ordered it to have six of its members chucked from the National Assembly and replaced with those duly elected in 2019.

The landmark ruling meant Charmaine Tjirare, Reggie Diergaardt, Mike Venaani (father of PDM leader McHenry Venaani), Frans Bertolini, Yvette Araes and Maximilliant Katjimune were sworn in as members of parliament with immediate effect.

PDM’s 2019 gazetted list of parliamentarians contained the six members’ names, but after the election – in which the party won 16 seats – it tossed the original list.

The members were replaced by Esmeralda !Aebes, Johannes Martin, Kazeongere Tjeundo, Geoffrey Mwilima, Timotheus Shihumbu and Pieter Mostert.

The court ruled that the latter group vacate its seats and make way for those whose names were duly gazetted.

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Namibian Sun 2024-04-25

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Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 329.94/OZ UP +0.59% | Copper US$ 4.52/lb UP +1.99% | Zinc US$ 2 873.90/T UP 2.4% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 88.08/BBP UP +0.10% | Platinum US$ 902.25/OZ UP +0.01%