Utoni under fire for tobacco 'facilitation'

29 June 2018 | Government

Local political analysts have expressed concern over lands minister Utoni Nujoma's role in apparently facilitating a cabinet presentation by Chinese investors in the Namibia Oriental Tobacco project.

They raised the issue of Nujoma facilitating the meeting this week, while he is the same person who will decide whether to approve the company's land application in a communal area in the Zambezi Region.

Two sources, who were privy to the tobacco discussions in cabinet, confirmed to Namibian Sun earlier this week that Nujoma had brought in the group of Chinese investors for their presentation.

Repeated calls, from different numbers to Nujoma's cellphone went unanswered yesterday.

Political analyst Frederico Links said it makes no sense that cabinet has become the place to discuss business proposals.

“What are they doing at cabinet in the first place? The whole things smells of people peddling political influence. It just doesn't sound right. For me, it looks once again like political connections are being used to try to secure national resources for private gain,” said Links.

Another political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah said Nujoma must explain why he had to play a facilitation role during the cabinet meeting.

“He cannot approve the land application and spearhead the process at the same time. His facilitation role must be scrutinised.

“From the public's perspective there is evidence of conflict of interest,” he said.

Namibia Oriental Tobacco is co-owned by Swapo regional coordinator for Oshikoto, Armas Amukwiyu.

Amukwiyu's application for land was rejected in May 2015 by the Zambezi Communal Land Board.

The fact that Nujoma brought Amukwiyu's project to cabinet also raises questions around Amukwiyu's factional allegiance within Swapo.

During the party's elective congress in November last year, Amukwiyu was Team Swapo's secretary-general candidate, but lost to Team Harambee's Sophia Shaningwa.

According to Kamwanyah it would appear as if Amukwiyu is using his contacts in Team Harambee, as President Geingob's victorious faction was known as, to facilitate the process.

“Anything is possible in politics, but I am not convinced that he is back with the Harambee team. You must remember that as regional coordinator of Swapo he has quite a lot of political influence. And as far as I know there is no bad blood between him and Nujoma,” he said.

Amukwiyu, as well as Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu could not be reached for comment.


Similar News


Geingob chides MPs

2 days ago - 13 February 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob has reminded parliamentarians to introduce laws that will improve and protect the lives of Namibians, while emphasising the disturbing...

Children's law now in force

3 days ago - 13 February 2019 | Government

After pushing ahead for almost 30 years with an old colonial act Namibia has finally promulgated the Child Care and Protection Act 3 of 2015,...

Inheritance law under review

3 days ago - 13 February 2019 | Government

The justice ministry has agreed to consider tweaking a controversial law which has come under fire for compelling parents to leave trust funds for minor...

Paperless e-Parliament coming

3 days ago - 13 February 2019 | Government

National Assembly speaker Peter Katjavivi has announced plans for the Namibian parliament to go paperless this year, with support from the parliament of Finland.This new...

Katiti PA's N$800k windfall

4 days ago - 12 February 2019 | Government

The unfolding probe into suspended Namibia Institute for Pathology (NIP) CEO Augustinus Katiti has shown how he allegedly favoured his personal assistant, who initially earned...

NEEEF still being 'fine-tuned'

5 days ago - 11 February 2019 | Government

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) says the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) Bill is still being fine-tuned, and at the end of...

Govt names new executive directors

1 week ago - 08 February 2019 | Government

Government has announced the appointment of new executive directors for the ministries of home affairs, trade, president’s private office as well as environment and tourism....

CoW, Kingston municipality become twins

1 week ago - 08 February 2019 | Government

WINDHOEK – The City of Windhoek (CoW) and the Kingston municipality of Jamaica on Wednesday signed a twinning agreement in an effort to promote municipal...

City's poisoned chalice

1 week ago - 07 February 2019 | Government

A Windhoek city council meeting, which would have taken place last night to discuss a so-called presidential directive with regard to the continued suspension of...

Geingob blasts 'drunk' ministers, media

1 week ago - 06 February 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob yesterday unleashed his latest criticism of the local media, accusing journalists of having an agenda against his administration. The head of state...

Latest News

Foreign graduates protest 'unfair' tests

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Health

Dozens of foreign-trained medical and dentistry graduates took to the streets yesterday to protest against a pre-internship exam which they claim is unfair and discriminatory.One...

FirstRand Namibia fights back

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – FirstRand Namibia bounced back to positive profit growth in the six months ended 31 December 2018 after taking a knock in the...

Our people sustain our group

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Columns

Engaged employees help establish better relationships with customers, since staff are the ones who are actually in contact with customers. This is why FirstRand Namibia...

NaCC scrutinises fuel imports

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Business

The Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC) is requesting input from interested and affected parties on the reinstatement of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia's (Namcor) intent...

Our Achilles heel of accountability

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Columns

Enforcing greater accountability has always been an Achilles heel for the Namibian government over the years. Questions have been raised over whether there is indeed...

RA, Unam sign MoU

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Business

Justicia Shipena On 12 February, the Roads Authority (RA) and the University of Namibia (Unam) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the RA’s...

Mutorwa’s journey with science

1 day - 15 February 2019 | People

Justicia Shipena Marius Mutorwa is a lecturer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) in the department of health...

Witbooi artefacts coming

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Cultural

The arts and culture ministry has dismissed claims by the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) that repatriating the bible and whip of the late Nama...

Desperate farmers receive fodder

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Disasters

Several Good Samaritans have come on board to show Namibia's spirit of helping those in a time of need. A total of 11...

Load More