Fallout over Dubai Expo

Cabinet has left a bitter taste in the mouth of the expo’s outgoing commissioner-general after deciding to place this responsibility onto the newly formed investment promotion board.

21 May 2021 | Government

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK

Cabinet has elected not to renew the contract of Namibia’s commissioner-general for the Dubai Expo Simon Maruta, with Namibia Investment Promotion Development Board (NIPDB) CEO Nangula Uaandja roped in as his replacement.

This was confirmed by cabinet secretary George Simataa on Wednesday.

The 182-day event kicks off in October this year and ends in March 2022.

Maruta was informed of Cabinet’s decision four months before the global trade showpiece Dubai Expo kicks off.

The outgoing commissioner-general was appointed by Cabinet in 2019 to spearhead Namibia’s preparation for the expo, where Namibia aims to lure investors to pump resources into areas such as agriculture, mining, tourism, banking, health, manufacturing, housing, renewable energy and transport.

Namibian Sun understands Maruta is irked by the manner in which he was ushered out of the cushy role, claiming that he was not consulted in any way regarding ending his tenure.

His sympathisers feel Cabinet should have extended his term until the end of the expo, while others believe thrusting Uaandja into the role – given the overall mandate of NIPDB – was the right call.

The expo was due to take place in October 2020 but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic which limited the movement of goods and people globally.

An irate Maruta this week accused Uaandja of spearheading the charge to oust him.

“She (Uaandja) is hell-bent, she wants to take over and that she is why she has sneaked over a resolution in Cabinet to allow her to take over. My understanding is that she has submitted to take over the Expo as commissioner-general,” he told this publication on Wednesday.

Maruta will serve until the end of June.

“I will go after the end of June. I have no beef about it, it is just the way they have handled this. I was not even approached. I just heard about it. She already informed the international community that she will be one that will be in charge of this,” he said.

The Expo will start from October 2021 until 31 March 2022.

Controversy

Namibian Sun this week reported how two senior officials from NIPDB travelled to Dubai earlier this month for the International Participants Meeting (IPM) despite not being accredited.

NIPDB at the time said Margaret Gustavo and Tunga Mboti went to Dubai to undertake a familiarisation visit which happened to coincide with the meeting.

Close to 400 delegates from the 190 participating countries assembled for the sixth IPM at the Dubai Exhibition Centre ahead of the expo.

All non-essential officials were requested to follow proceedings from their home countries, while country heads of the expo received accreditation to travel and attend in-person.

According to Maruta, prior to his departure to Dubai, NIPDB had approached him wanting to be part of the delegation to attend the meeting.

“Before I went [to Dubai] they came to me and said they want to come but I said I spoke to the organisers in Dubai who were very clear right from the beginning that they will just allow two people per country because of the Covid-19,” he said.

Uaandja’s understanding, Maruta said, “is that this is just for foreign direct investment but it is not the case.”

“The Expo must showcase what Namibia can offer to the world and what the world can offer to Namibia,” he said.

He added: “The commissioner-general and the team must go and stay in Dubai for ten months – the Expo is for six months but the decommissioning and the preparations will take it up to about ten months. So, I am not sure that she has put up the NIPB, how she will be able to manage the board or whether she will abandon the board then go and stay in Dubai.”

Uaandja did not respond to written questions sent to her on Wednesday.

Similar News

 

Grootfontein municipality parks damning report

4 days ago - 27 July 2021 | Government

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUDespite the ministerial audit report on the Grootfontein municipality urging swift remedial action to be taken against those implicated, the local authority is yet...

Zambezi conservancies make N$14 million

4 days ago - 27 July 2021 | Government

NAMPAWINDHOEKZambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu said that communal conservancies in the region generated over N$14.4 million during the 2020/21 financial year compared to N$25 million generated...

Karma is a b*t#h

5 days ago - 26 July 2021 | Government

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKFormer Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua said activists who accused his leadership of not doing much to deliver enough land “must walk the talk” now...

MPs ‘scared’ of LPM leaders

1 week ago - 22 July 2021 | Government

MATHIAS HAUFIKU WINDHOEKLawmakers fear that their safety will be in jeopardy if Landless People’s...

!Gawaxab defends Geingob’s committees

1 week ago - 21 July 2021 | Government

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKBank of Namibia governor Johannes !Gawaxab says criticism against President Hage Geingob’s establishment of various economic committees - which many...

Ongwediva rolls out municipal services

1 week ago - 21 July 2021 | Government

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATIIn less than two months, Ongwediva town council has awarded another bid for sewer reticulation at Sky Phase 1 to Omatando Construction CC.The project...

Kavango East forges towards sustainable agriculture

1 week ago - 20 July 2021 | Government

NAMPAWINDHOEKKavango East governor Bonifasius Wakudumo says the region will try to revive the regional economy, especially in the agricultural sector, to contribute to the implementation...

Mbangu makes things happen in Rundu Rural

2 weeks ago - 15 July 2021 | Government

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUIndependent candidate and Rundu Rural constituency councillor Paulus Mbangu, who dethroned the ruling party from leading the constituency during last year’s elections, is hard...

Only one person needed to register a death

2 weeks ago - 14 July 2021 | Government

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe home affairs ministry has appealed to members of the public that only one person should come to their offices when registering a death...

Geingob’s ideas face ‘resistance’

2 weeks ago - 12 July 2021 | Government

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKPolitical commentators say various policy ideas crafted by President Hage Geingob’s various committees need to be implemented for them to work, failure of which...

Latest News

On the brink of burnout?...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Business

Selma Shilunga 1. Talking about your feelings is importantWe often keep our true feelings bottled up, saying “I’m fine”, even when we’re really not....

Kristofine Itembu proves that the...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Business

Rivaldo KavangaHailing from Onankali village in the Oshikoto Region and raised in the dusty streets of Soweto in Katutura, the career-driven Kristofine Itembu remains humble...

Pensioner loses N$50k to scammers...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATI A 60-year-old retired teacher lost N$50 000 to scammers who pretended to be police officers on Monday...

Ex-general implicated in Ekandjo’s missing...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Justice

Kenya Kambowe RUNDUFormer minister Jerry Ekandjo’s name has surfaced in court as one of the possible victims in a stock theft case in which former...

South Africa plans billions in...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Economics

ALEXANDER WINNING AND WENDELL ROELFSouth Africa plans about R36 billion of relief measures to support businesses and individuals affected by unrest this month and by...

The man who works fast...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Business

Sono Kahuure runs the network escalations department at Paratus Namibia and is the keyholder to unlocking solutions for his customers. Sono is the go-to man...

Taking sports development to the...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | People

Mariselle Stofberg Powerful play From growing up in the dusty streets of Okuryangava, Titus Mwahafa’s passion for sport and sports development has driven him...

“I imagined a better life...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Business

Desiree GasesTST was founded in 2012 and is a full-service advertising and market research company combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to deliver rich, operational, and...

EDITORIAL: Fix Windhoek’s leadership mess

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek is without political leadership. But that’s not the saddest part. The fact that, for a week, nothing concrete has been hammered out to restore...

Load More