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Govt's N$250 000 allegedly splashed on boob reduction

Ex-Unesco representative says payment was approved
The official is also battling allegations that she made fraudulent claims under the guise of paying her child's school fees.
Jemima Beukes
Namibia's former deputy delegate to Unesco, Dr Immolatrix Geingos, is battling allegations that she unduly used state funds for breast reduction surgery.

The operation, valued at just under N$250 000, was reportedly done without authorisation by her substantive employer, the ministry of higher education. According to officials, Geingos’ application to have the surgery done on government’s cost was rejected, given that the government medical aid does not cover aesthetic procedures.

Medically justified

Geingos confirmed that she had the operation, but insisted that it was discussed and approved by the ministry. When asked for proof that her procedure was approved for government funding, she said the burden of proof lies with those claiming she did not get such approval.

“There was a process through which these payments were made. I am not obligated to give you anything,” she said.

“The onus is not on myself to prove [it]. Let the people tell you. When it comes to my medically-justified breast reduction, I will not take it lightly. That is a gross invasion of my privacy," she said.

She added: “Ask them to give you the internal audit. Why are they not charging me formally, but now they are giving you sugar-coated papers?”

She shared a letter from plastic surgeon Dr Taliah Schmitt - based in Paris, France - for the ministry’s attention. It read: “I hereby certify that the surgery performed on Immolatrix Geingos last year was on medical grounds... In respect of patient confidentiality, I cannot disclose any medical information directly, but have provided Mrs Geingos with a certificate prior to the surgery explaining her condition and the medical necessity to perform this surgery, which she can deliver to you”.

Thick as thieves

It is also alleged that Geingos bamboozled the administration and finance staff at the Namibian embassy in France to initiate several payments for her personal benefit because of her alleged close relationship with higher education minister Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi.

One such instance was when Geingos allegedly instructed embassy staff to make a payment of over N$1.5 million to a school her child attended, while she only owed less than N$500 000. Thereafter, she allegedly asked the school to refund the difference into her personal account.

In 2020, the High Court dismissed an urgent application by Geingos and ordered her to pay the legal costs of the ministry after she challenged the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) refusal to pay for her son’s school fees at the British School of Paris.

Geingos told Namibian Sun that the payments that are now a bone of contention were approved by the ministry - but could not provide any documentation to back her claims.

Namibian Sun has also been informed that after the minister stayed over at Geingos' place in Paris, the two developed an extremely close relationship. Geingos subsequently began making several demands, and reportedly disrespected direct reporting lines in the ministry.

It is alleged that Geingos demanded perks that are typically availed to a diplomat, such as a car and driver, which she was not entitled to.

It has also alleged that Kandjii-Murangi instructed head office staff to give Geingos a 'more senior' position, while the PSC insisted that she should return to her original post in the ministry, which is deputy director, when she returns from her Paris secondment.

No extraordinary skills

"What Geingos does not understand is that she was merely seconded to stand in in this position when there was [an opening] at that moment. In fact, someone else was supposed to go, but the minister fought that person. She [Geingos] does not have any extraordinary [or] special skills that we cannot find in this ministry,” a source said.

“She is not a diplomat! She was only seconded and that secondment has ended, even though she keeps pushing the ministry to extend the secondment every time."

When contacted for comment, Kandjii-Murangi said: “Why are you asking me about things personal to [Geingos]? I really would not like to be involved in some of these things. I am not aware of these payments”.

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Namibian Sun 2024-05-27

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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$ 2 353.63/OZ UP +0.70% | Copper US$ 4.80/lb UP +1.35% | Zinc US$ 3 077.30/T UP 0.19% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 83.32/BBP UP +1.20% | Platinum US$ 1 055.12/OZ UP +2.42% Sport results: LaLiga: Sevilla 1 vs 2 Barcelona | Celta Vigo 2 vs 2 Valencia | Las Palmas 1 vs 1 Deportivo Alaves | Getafe 1 vs 2 Mallorca | Real Madrid 0 vs 0 Real Betis | Almería 6 vs 1 Cadiz | Rayo Vallecano 0 vs 1 Athletic Club | Real Sociedad 0 vs 2 Atletico Madrid | Osasuna 1 vs 1 Villarreal | Girona 7 vs 0 Granada SerieA: SS Lazio 1 vs 1 Sassuolo | Hellas Verona 2 vs 2 Inter Milan | Empoli 2 vs 1 AS Roma | Frosinone 0 vs 1 Udinese | Atalanta 3 vs 0 Torino | Napoli 0 vs 0 Lecce | AC Milan 3 vs 3 Salernitana | Juventus 2 vs 0 Monza | Genoa 2 vs 0 Bologna European Championships Qualifying: Leeds United 0 vs 1 Southampton FA Cup: Manchester City 1 vs 2 Manchester United English Championship: Leeds United 0 vs 1 Southampton Weather: Katima Mulilo: 11° | 30° Rundu: 11° | 30° Eenhana: 13° | 31° Oshakati: 14° | 30° Ruacana: 15° | 31° Tsumeb: 14° | 28° Otjiwarongo: 12° | 27° Omaruru: 14° | 29° Windhoek: 11° | 24° Gobabis: 12° | 25° Henties Bay: 17° | 25° Wind speed: 47km/h, Wind direction: NE, Low tide: 11:38, High tide: 05:37, Low Tide: 00:10, High tide: 18:15 Swakopmund: 16° | 18° Wind speed: 28km/h, Wind direction: NE, Low tide: 11:36, High tide: 05:35, Low Tide: 00:08, High tide: 18:13 Walvis Bay: 16° | 23° Wind speed: 34km/h, Wind direction: NE, Low tide: 11:36, High tide: 05:34, Low Tide: 00:08, High tide: 18:12 Rehoboth: 13° | 26° Mariental: 14° | 28° Keetmanshoop: 15° | 28° Aranos: 14° | 28° Lüderitz: 17° | 33° Ariamsvlei: 15° | 29° Oranjemund: 19° | 31° Luanda: 23° | 27° Gaborone: 11° | 24° Lubumbashi: 10° | 26° Mbabane: 10° | 23° Maseru: 6° | 21° Antananarivo: 9° | 21° Lilongwe: 11° | 26° Maputo: 17° | 27° Windhoek: 11° | 24° Cape Town: 14° | 24° Durban: 14° | 23° Johannesburg: 13° | 20° Dar es Salaam: 22° | 29° Lusaka: 14° | 24° Harare: 10° | 24° Economic Indicators: Currency: GBP to NAD 23.39 | EUR to NAD 19.91 | CNY to NAD 2.53 | USD to NAD 18.34 | DZD to NAD 0.14 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.31 | EGP to NAD 0.38 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.68 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.56 | RUB to NAD 0.21 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.3 | USD to AOA 851.84 | USD to BWP 13.58 | USD to EGP 47.12 | USD to KES 132.48 | USD to NGN 1474 | USD to ZAR 18.34 | USD to ZMW 26.81 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index 79150.84 Up +0.25% | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1748.47 Down -0.71% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13370.7 Down -0.04% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 27205.14 Down -0.08% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9141.35 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - 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$ 2 353.63/OZ UP +0.70% | Copper US$ 4.80/lb UP +1.35% | Zinc US$ 3 077.30/T UP 0.19% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 83.32/BBP UP +1.20% | Platinum US$ 1 055.12/OZ UP +2.42%