Swanu questions genocide legal bill

Questions have been posed in parliament as to why other channels, such as the United Nations, could not be used to evaluate the genocide documents.

19 October 2017 | Politics

Namibia's oldest political party Swanu has joined the chorus of critics questioning government's decision to seek the advice of United Kingdom-based lawyers on its genocide claim against Germany.

The Namibian government is currently negotiating with its German counterpart on how the latter must make amends to the 1904-08 Nama and OvaHerero genocide.

Namibia's special envoy Zed Ngavirue yesterday could not explain why the UK lawyers were enlisted.

“I was not the one to decide that. On the technical committee level we only indicated that we needed a peer review for the documents that we prepared,” Ngavirue said.

In September, Sacky Shanghala said as the attorney-general, he does not need to acquire any cabinet approval for this kind of decision.

“There is no requirement in the Namibian Constitution, whence I derive my powers and existence from, for a cabinet approval or consultation,” Shanghala recently told parliament.

He further confirmed a Namibian lawyer based in the UK, Anna Uukelo, had been paid N$16 million.

Three European advocates were paid N$14 million, N$385 401 and N$816 574.

In a statement in parliament, Swanu Member of Parliament (MP) Usutuaije Maamberua said “it seems that the public purse is under threat”.

Maamberua asked why Namibia ignored “valuable” international bodies such as the United Nations instead of spending millions when the country is paddling through an economic crisis.

Repeating President Hage Geingob's rhetoric that Namibia is an offspring of the UN, Maamberua said it only makes sense for it to appeal to this body to lodge its genocide claims.

“It is natural that an important matter such as the genocide that the UN would in all probabilities be ready to render advice. Similarly, the UN could not have completed its decolonisation process over Namibia without having an opinion on the genocide issue,” he said.

Maamberua also demanded the government explain the value of the legal advice sought while the negotiating team under Ngavirue's leadership already compiled and presented the Namibia position paper to its German counterpart in July 2016.

“Besides the works of legal research, purportedly to determine whether Namibia had a case to demand reparation from Germany cost N$36 million. What would it cost the taxpayers at this rate, if we were to go all the way to litigation?” he ridiculed the expenditure.

He also questioned Shanghala's attitude while finance minister Calle Schlettwein stated that “the services were not sourced in compliance with the public procurement procedures.”

Maamberua also asked why the government is giving conflicting versions of payments made to the UK lawyers citing the N$11 million paid towards legal fees by the international relations ministry and N$36 million paid by Shanghala's office.

“If the payment was under the annual tender of the AG's office why is it the only item under social grants, in 2017/18 budget and nothing before or after?” Maamberua asked.

He further pointed out that “lines of accountabilities” in this case must be identified.



JEMIMA BEUKES

Similar News

 

Swapo celebrates 58th anniversary

2 hours ago | Politics

Swapo party members were today urged to pull together and work for the advancement of all Namibians in a birthday message by its president, Hage...

PDM threatens legal action over August 26

18 hours ago | Politics

The Popular Democratic Movement has threatened to take legal action should ombudsman John Walters not respond to their letter about August 26 by tomorrow. PDM...

Venaani lashes Geingob

1 day - 18 April 2018 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES In a self-styled state of the nation address early this week, PDM leader McHenry Venaani launched a scathing...

PDM to build northern headquarters in Oshakati

3 days ago - 16 April 2018 | Politics

The official opposition party is negotiating with the Oshakati town council to secure a plot for its operational headquarters for the northern regions.For more than...

Geingob to speak at Mama Winnie’s funeral

5 days ago - 13 April 2018 | Politics

President Hage Geingob will be among the speakers at the official funeral of South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. According to the presidency, Geingob will...

Lukato defends Dukwe refugees

1 week ago - 12 April 2018 | Politics

National Democratic Party (NDP) president Martin Lukato says if Namibians living at the Dukwe refugee camp in Botswana were forcefully deported, it would be tantamount...

Centre of power

1 week ago - 06 April 2018 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES While alienated Swapo members insist there has been a shift in power away from the party to President...

Shaningwa confirms Swapo fisticuffs

1 week ago - 06 April 2018 | Politics

Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa says she has received a report about an alleged physical altercation between two senior party members over the Easter weekend, which...

Funding crisis: Students face bleak future

2 weeks ago - 05 April 2018 | Politics

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has called on President Hage Geingob to walk the walk when it comes to fighting corruption by probing the mess...

Shaningwa reads riot act

2 weeks ago - 05 April 2018 | Politics

Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa yesterday laid down the ground rules for the party's headquarters staff, saying lax behaviour and wastage would not be tolerated. ...

Latest News

Johannes promoted following gold

18 hours ago | Sports

Gold medallist Helalia Johannes has been promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer Class Two with immediate effect, after she won Namibia’s second gold medal...

Etosha debacle sparks national probe

18 hours ago | Environment

The environment ministry has launched a full-scale investigation at the Deeds Office in Windhoek to determine whether there is any privately owned land in Namibia's...

Acute teacher shortage

18 hours ago | Economics

The education ministry has appealed for leniency and recognition that despite the directive to reduce state wage bills the ministry is in dire need of...

Africa briefs

18 hours ago | Economics

SA's auditor general cancels all contracts with KPMGSouth Africa’s Auditor General said on Tuesday he is terminating all contracts with auditing firm KPMG over a...

NovaNam, Lalandii start new hake...

18 hours ago | Business

Staff reporter - Last week, Lüderitz-based hake fishing companies, NovaNam and Lalandii, commenced with the cutting of the steel to build the...

Ondonga heir apparent hits back...

18 hours ago | Cultural

One of the claimants to the Ondonga throne, Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo, has taken issue with urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga following his recent...

PM warns employees of shorter...

18 hours ago | Government

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila this week warned staff members of her office that she would not accept complacency and that she would shorten the leash...

40 years after battle of...

18 hours ago | History

The Angolan president, João Lourenço will attend the Cassinga Day commemoration on 4 May as guest of honour and will lay a wreath at Heroes'...

New conservancy land disputed

18 hours ago | Environment

A Kavango West man has accused the Uukwangali Traditional Authority of stealing his land, which he claimed was now allocated to a newly proclaimed conservancy....

Load More