THERE is a deliberate attempt to widely generate a perception that the State has become cash-strapped as a result of the current regime, while conveniently omitting the root causes that have pushed the State into a financial quagmire.
Government financial troubles are not the making of the current regime or overnight consequences but a cyclical outcome of Government’s historical reckless and unaccounted spending by the State and its parastatals over the past two decades.
In fact, we are fortunate now that we have a conscious leadership which has put breaks on Government spending because of the realisation that we cannot live beyond our means as it used to be the norm.
Government was forced to slash its budget by 7.4 percent (N$4,9 billion) from the N$67 billion national budget, which has already started crippling some Government ministries.
The effects of reckless spending stem from previous administrations and its impact has deepened and it is only now after two decades that we realise our future has been mortgaged.
Tens of millions of dollars, pocketed through political influence and dubious tendering, illegal issuing of EPL licences, bribery, kickbacks and investment schemes have been used to finance lifestyles and pay for luxury items such as cars and apartments in Swakopmund or Cape Town.
None of the ill-gotten money has been used to create jobs or as a durable, productive return on investment.
Political influence in corruption cases, varying from a few million to N$30 million through the Social Security Commission/Avid scandal, N$100 million via the Offshore Development Corporation (ODC) and about N$1,8 billion through the Government Institutions Pension Fund’s (GIPF) Development Capital Portfolio (DCP) are partly the root causes of our present day financial woes.
As a result of political influence peddling, Namibia has lost much needed foreign revenue equaling N$5.5 billion to Angola after the Bank of Namibia was coerced into a currency conversion deal to trade the worthless Kwanza. These are the political decisions of yesteryear whose consequences we have to bear now.
With a lot of black tenderpreneurs becoming fronts for their Chinese backers, the country has been experiencing a capital flight of billions of Namibian dollars to China because Government capital projects have been given to Chinese companies who have been employing their own Chinese nationals at the expense of the local economy.
Therefore privatisation has strengthened the relationship between the Chinese business class and a few political elite. In essence, only a few of the minority of the empowered black elite has managed to create genuine employment for Namibians.
Many black economic empowerment managers have become business tycoons, and are influencing parliamentary decisions and lobbying for legislation that will ultimately secure their wealth.
BEE remains a ‘highly debated’ topic in Namibia and is creating economic distortions.
Our behaviour towards state resources has to change now if Namibia is to create a sustainable indigenous-based economy instead of spending state resources on recycled BEE beneficiaries.
There is therefore a historical link between the country’s current financial status and the ’embezzlement of government funds and fraud with public money which has increased dramatically in recent years’.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015