'MPs must explain their riches'

Labour minister Utoni Nujoma has lashed out at “political opponents” who allegedly circulated his asset declaration on social media.

01 July 2020 | Government

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



Opposition politicians are in agreement that public office-bearers must not only declare their assets, but should also be ready to explain their riches.

This follows labour minister Utoni Nujoma saying in parliament that “unscrupulous” elements in society are maliciously using these declarations against him on social media.

“We have to comply with the declaration, but as I am speaking today, my declaration is on Facebook distributed by political opponents and I would like to be assured that there will be a follow-up to know who did that,” Nujoma said in the National Assembly last week. Nujoma added that it is unfair for members of parliament to quote from these declarations and question members in parliament.



Fear not

The speaker of the National Assembly (NA) Peter Katjavivi urged MPs to comply with the law and declare their assets, reassuring Utoni that what is kept by parliament is under the necessary supervision and control.

“Let me assure you, this is very important. I think what is important is what you are able to declare and according to the law we will keep it in custody and the part for the public will be made available for public scrutiny. Have no fear whatsoever, this is an annual exercise but we are delayed and we need to comply with the law,” Katjavivi said.

Leader of the Landless People's Movement (LPM)Bernadus Swartbooi said it has become cardinal for public office-bearers to not only declare their assets, but to go further and explain how they acquired them, especially in light of the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF).

“You need to explain who assisted you in acquiring these assets. You must explain how long it took you to gather these assets and whether it was in an honest and fair manner. Now that they want to bring in NEEEF, we would want to know where people got the money to buy 40% in a private company. We want to know who their business associates are,” Swartbooi said. He added that it is suspicious when public office-bearers cannot handle public scrutiny and hard questions about their assets. You cannot cry about a public declaration which is out in the public. These things must be public so that we explain how we acquired these assets. At this point, assets are only declared; how will he react when he is asked to explain the origin of these assets,” Swartbooi asked.



Limit undue enrichment

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani agreed that the fundamental purpose of an asset declaration is to limit undue enrichment by public officials and insider trading using their offices or the influence they wield.

“Henceforth, it is utterly laughable for a public office holder to attempt to limit scrutiny. What needs to improve is asset declaration to allow for greater transparency.

“If you read the book The Bosasa Billions [How the ANC Sold Its Soul for Braai Packs, Booze and Bagz of Cash by James-Brent Styan and Paul Vecchiatto], you would realise that there is even a need to declare handbags and Rolex watches that people are wearing. We need greater transparency, not a limit on it,” he said.

[email protected]

Similar News

 

PG Imalwa faces exit

1 day - 29 September 2020 | Government

WINDHOEKELLANIE SMITWith the term of Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa ending this year, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has advertised the position of the principal state legal...

Fuel taps close for bigwigs

6 days ago - 24 September 2020 | Government

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEK The Public Office-Bearers (Remuneration and Benefits) Commission has moved to implement a directive by President Hage Geingob to limit fuel consumed...

Geingob calls for united Covid action

6 days ago - 24 September 2020 | Government

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK President Hage Geingob says a united global approach will help in the fight to stave off the mounting effects...

'Total disarray'

1 week ago - 18 September 2020 | Government

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUGrootfontein CEO Sisco Sinvula has written a five-page press statement in which he exposes what he describes as “total disarray” and an appalling state...

N$100m saved in travelling costs

2 weeks ago - 15 September 2020 | Government

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe government has saved more than N$101 million in travel costs by high-ranking government officials, including President Hage Geingob.Geingob and other high-ranking officials have...

Hengari saga: Geingob to meet with journalists

3 weeks ago - 08 September 2020 | Government

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEK The presidency has informed the media that President Hage Geingob is ready to meet with journalists to discuss concerns raised about press...

Mynupe leaves Allan Gray to advise Geingob

4 weeks ago - 01 September 2020 | Government

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKChartered accountant James Mynupe has left Allan Gray asset managers and will start providing President Hage Geingob advice as part of a panel of...

Shiimi reveals N$627m fishing quota auction windfall

1 month - 28 August 2020 | Government

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKGovernment has raised over N$627 million from the auctioning of its “development objectives” fishing quotas to local and international bidders. This, according to finance...

VP and wife contract Covid-19

1 month - 24 August 2020 | Government

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKVice-president Nangolo Mbumba and his wife Susitjie have tested positive for Covid-19, amid talk that the couple had attended President Hage Geingob's birthday party...

Ministers divided about detailed wealth declarations

1 month - 24 August 2020 | Government

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

Latest News

Paratus announces solid annual financial...

23 hours ago | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUListed telecommunications operator, Paratus Namibia Holdings Ltd (PNH), announced its annual financial results yesterday for the period ended 30 June 2020.PNH delivered commendable revenue...

Karasburg small business owners remain...

23 hours ago | Business

It was a life lesson for me. Many of us with small businesses do not save. Felicity Isaaks, Business owner: Karasburg

Sanlam donates two isolation units...

23 hours ago | Business

Sanlam Namibia unveiled two isolation units adapted to cater for Covid-19 patients and handed it over to the Ministry of Health and Social Services at...

Swapo’s old warhorses bite the...

23 hours ago | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKAn increase in youth appetite for political office has seen some of the old guard in the ruling party Swapo missing out on nomination...

I was misquoted – Itula

23 hours ago | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKIndependent Patriots for Change (IPC) leader Dr Panduleni Itula says he was misinterpreted when he told Namibian Sun that he is not a ‘contemporary’...

Governor threatens Covid corpse thieves...

23 hours ago | Crime

ESTER KAMATIOTJIWARONGORefugees at Osire who stole a Covid-19-positive corpse from the refugee camp’s mortuary on 18 September and buried it the same day have been...

Grootfontein municipality avails 1120 plots

23 hours ago | Economics

Over 300 residents of Grootfontein in need of housing gathered at the Kap en Bou informal settlement where they were informed of the 1 120...

More Fishrot answers needed

23 hours ago | Opinion

The so-called ‘Fishrot Seven’ have hinted lately that they have been made the sacrificial lambs of a much bigger syndicate whose other architects are roaming...

Psemas administration tender closes

23 hours ago | Health

HENRIETTE LAMPRECHTWINDHOEKThe tender for a new administrator of the Public Service Employee Medical Aid Scheme (Psemas) closed last week.The bidding period had been extended by...

Load More