Venaani queries N$730m Swapo HQ funding

13 February 2020 | Government

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani has demanded answers on how Swapo is financing the construction of its N$730 million new national headquarters.

At a time when corruption is considered by some as being systemic in Namibia, Venaani held the position that it is incumbent upon the ruling party's representatives in the National Assembly to lay bare how the project is being bankrolled.

He submitted his demand to Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

He said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, being the leader of government business, is the right person to provide clarity on the financing of the project opposite the Katutura State Hospital.

Venaani said Swapo did not secure any loan from any local bank to finance the project, which raises questions about how the ruling party can single-handedly finance the construction.

“This is an urgent question. How is Swapo building a N$730 million building? The people of this country have the right to know,” he said before National Assembly speaker Peter Katjavivi interjected.

“That is not an urgent question,” Katjavivi said, asking Venaani to take his seat.

However, All People's Party (APP) president Ignatius Shixwameni entered the fray,saying: “Where did the money come from?”

At this point gender minister Doreen Sioka could be heard in the background saying: “We (Swapo) have been saving [for the construction] since 1999.”

It was reported last year that Swapo awarded a contract worth N$730 million to a Chinese firm Unik Construction to upgrade its headquarters.

On several occasions, when queried by local journalists about the construction, Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa either sidestepped the matter or indicated: “I don't report to the media.”

Reports have also surfaced that the Chinese government is footing the construction bill, a claim which the party and representatives of the Chinese government vehemently deny.

NAMPA

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