Ministers divided about detailed wealth declarations

24 August 2020 | Government

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



Cabinet ministers are divided about whether to declare their assets in the detailed manner that agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein has done.

Schlettwein declared his assets last week and reported that his wealth had almost doubled since his last declaration in 2016.

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said he had considered providing detailed breakdowns of his assets but getting the services of a valuator was too expensive.

“I have no problem with doing that,” Shifeta said. “Not maybe in [such] detail because it costs money. I have no problem; I declare every year. I tried but it looks like you must pay, get a firm to do that … it is a good thing,” he said.

Home affairs minister Frans Kapofi said he was open to the idea and had declared his wealth annually.

“The information is there. I do not have much to declare but I have declared what I own,” he said.



We comply

According to Kapofi, even if ministers were to give detailed breakdowns of their assets, it would still be met with scrutiny from the public.

“You can declare but the public's perception will always be different,” he said.

Kapofi said he did not believe Schlettwein had made the declaration to gain public sympathy.

“I don't think he has done it to set the stage, I congratulate him,” Kapofi said.





Information minister Peya Mushelenga said he had declared his assets as was required with the National Assembly.

“I have already declared my wealth at parliament, everything is there in the book [about] what I have.”

Transport minister John Mutorwa said all ministers declared their assets.

“We make declarations every year; it is not only Schlettwein that declares his assets,” he said. “What is special about it? I have nothing to hide.”

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula said it was a private matter when asked what he thought about declaring his assets in such detail.



First family to update

First Lady Monica Geingos has confirmed that she and her husband, President Hage Geingob, will once again publicly declare their assets this year.

The couple declared their assets in 2015 after Geingob ascended to the presidency.

“While I can't speak for the president, I can confirm that each of us plans to do another asset declaration this year,” Geingos told Namibian Sun. She did not indicate when exactly that would happen.

Geingos has also pledged to leave all her money to charity when she dies.

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