Geingos to give away her wealth

14 February 2020 | Local News

First Lady Monica Geingos has promised to bequeath all her worldly belongings to charity when she dies.

A director in her office, Dr Veronica Theron, confirmed this yesterday. During a fundraising gala dinner in 2016 for her charity, the One Economy Foundation, Geingos pledged to give 50% of her wealth to vulnerable children.

In May 2015, Geingos declared that she had assets worth between N$45 and N$60 million.

“If I can de-risk my children's future a little more, then it is 100%,” she said at the time.

Her husband, President Hage Geingob, has declared assets of about N$50 million.

Efforts to get comment from State House this week about whether Geingob would be declaring his assets when his second term as head of state begins on 21 March proved futile. This week Geingos told the Thompson Reuters Foundation that all her wealth would go to charity.

“If I'm telling poor children that they must be well educated, have the right attitude and they must stay away from self-destructive behaviour and they'll be fine, then surely that message should apply to my kids too?” Geingos said.

The first lady, who has for long held the belief that inheritance is one of the biggest drivers of inequality, has in the past called for an inheritance tax.

In 2018 she tweeted: “[A] key aspect of wealth accumulation is that it operates in a self-reinforcing way... inherited wealth is unearned and therefore unfair. Again I ask, why does a country like Namibia, with the second highest inequality rate in the world, not have an inheritance tax?”

Geingos, a former businesswoman, said her net worth included shareholding in a number of companies.

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