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BEAR WITH ME: Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah. 
PHOTO: FILE
BEAR WITH ME: Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah. PHOTO: FILE

Netumbo to answer Fishrot questions after congress

Swapo VP under scrutiny
The Swapo vice-president, dubbed the 'least corrupt' among those eyeing her position at congress, has remained tight-lipped about allegations of corruption at the 2017 congress.
STAFF REPORTER
Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah yesterday said she will address questions linking her to the Fishrot-financed 2017 congress after this year’s congress.

She’s campaigning to retain her position at the November congress, which could catapult her to the country’s presidency.

Nandi-Ndaitwah has been branded as the ‘least corrupt’ among those vying for the position, but former Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) national executive member Sioni Iikela disagrees with this notion, saying victors at the 2017 congress are products of Fishrot-funded campaigns.

Speaking on The Evening Review yesterday, he said: “Any leader who is a product of the 2017 congress is a dirty product because this was a congress that was funded with the dirty Fishrot money. The records are there for all to see”.

“And if there were clean people, they would have distanced themselves from that process, but they continued to occupy those positions. Yet they regard themselves as clean. They are lying to themselves, the nation and Swapo members.”

Don’t talk about corruption

Iikela, who backed the Team Swapo campaigners who were trounced by Nandi-Ndaitwah’s Team Harambee at the 2017 congress, said the topic of corruption has been used selectively in campaigns so far.

“The subject of corruption must be removed completely from the campaigns because no one has a moral authority to discuss the subject,” he remarked on the show.

Nandi-Ndaitwah, who has urged her supporters to maintain a clean campaign and not insult opponents in her name, was reluctant to respond to Fishrot claims when approached for comment yesterday.

"I don't want to answer your question because it will seem like I am de-campaigning others. You can ask me after congress and I will answer freely," she told Namibian Sun.

In August, Nandi-Ndaitwah sensationally claimed that “jealous external forces” were to blame for Fishrot, which was designed to destroy the country’s thriving fishing sector.

She said: “We started very well, and it was contributing significantly to the economic growth and development of the country. But because there are those who are jealous and against us, unfortunately, they ended up making use of some of our citizens to undermine the fishing industry,” she said.

Fugitive lawyer Marén de Klerk admitted in his court affidavits to having disbursed funds to Swapo politicians and President Hage Geingob's party campaigns ahead of the 2017 congress where he was elected party president. Nandi-Ndaitwah was Geingob’s running mate for vice-president, a race she won.

Intense scrutiny

Competing against Nandi-Ndaitwah for the Swapo vice-president position are Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and environment minister Pohamba Shifeta.

Kuugogelwa-Amadhila faced intense scrutiny over the way she and her husband acquired a farm that they eventually sold to government, with questions raised on whether she used a local businessman – who only owned the farm for nine months – as a conduit in the deal.

Government had previously declined to buy the land, citing that it was not suitable for resettlement purposes.

For Shifeta, the shadow of the Kora Music Awards scandal, where N$23.5 million of public money vanished with controversial Beninese businessman Ernest Adjovi, refuses to leave his proximity.

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Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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