Speaker rejects DTA motion on SME Bank

09 June 2017 | Local News

Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi has rejected a motion moved by DTA leader McHenry Venaani calling on parliament to debate the SME Bank debacle.

Venaani was yesterday set to motivate the motion, but his hopes were dashed when Katjavivi rejected debate on the matter as it was still before the courts.

“It is not the first time that we are confronted by such a request, we have to comply with the rules and rules are meant to be followed,” he said.

Without putting up much resistance, Venaani retired to his chair and accepted the speaker's order before making way for the exit while business continued in the meantime.

This week Venaani had also called for judicial commission of inquiry into the affairs of the SME Bank, which has since been place under curatorship by the Bank of Namibia because of “questionable investment in South African financial instruments”.

The board and top management of the troubled bank have also been suspended pending the central bank's investigation.

“We need to restore confidence in the SME Bank,” Venaani said earlier in the week.

“The intention of the SME Bank was to support SMEs and not institutions like Woermann Brock which has been operating for over 100 years. The mandate of the SME Bank has been circumvented by providing loans to the likes of Woermann Brock. Loans have been given to directors of the SME Bank and these directors of the SME Bank have not even read the King Report. As a board member, you should know you are the guarantor of the rules.”

The High Court recently dismissed an application to overturn a decision to have the suspension of three executives and board members lifted.

The suspended officials include CEO Tawanda Mumvuma, finance manager Joseph Banda, General Manager of Treasury and Investments Alec Gore. Board chair George Simataa, vice-chairperson Enock Kamushinda and ordinary director Ozias Bvute are also suspended.

They have been ordered to pay the costs of the respondent in this case the Bank of Namibia.


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