By Eliaser Ndeyanale
RETIRED Brigadier General James Auala, Chief Executive Officer of August 26 Holdings, a company wholly owned by the Ministry of Defence which since its formation in 1998 never produced an annual financial report has said the company’s financial status will not be tabled in the National Assembly.
He said that the company is a private entity and is registered in accordance with the Companies Act hence there is no need for its financial report to be made public; adding that it does not “get Government subsidies”.
Last week DTA leader McHenry Venaani insisted for August 26’s financial report to be tabled in the National Assembly saying failure to do so his party would drag the military company to court.
Venaani said the defence ministry must tell the house when the books will be tabled. “How is it not possible for a parastatal that deals with public funds cannot produce its financial reports to this house?” he questioned.
Auala rebutted the official opposition party saying it should rather ask for Air Namibia’s financial reports which gets Government subsidies year in year out.
“If the DTA asked about us, why didn’t they ask about Air Namibia for example that is subsidised by Government? We are want to know. We are a PTY Limited registered in accordance with the Companies Act. We, for exnot subsidised by Government so why does DTA ample, get assignments for the defence ministry and they pay us for services we render,” Aula said.
During the question and answer session in the National Assembly Deputy Minister of Defence Billy Mwaningange also claimed that the military’s business dealings could not be made public because of national security, adding that its audited financial statements of August 26 are produced yearly and submitted to Cabinet.
“In as much as August 26 Holding (Pty) Ltd is 100 percent Government owned, it does not receive any subsidies from Government. The Ministry of Defence, other Government institutions and other customers which receive goods and services from August 26 Holding (Pty) Ltd. do so at market related cost. In this regard, therefore, its financial status is reported to Cabinet in confidence,” he said.
The military company spread its business wings recently by initiating eight industrial subsidiaries namely; the Windhoeker Maschinenfabrik, Agri- Tour, Sat-Com, August 26 UBM, August 26 Industries, August 26 Textile and Garment, NamForce and August 26 Logistics.
August 26 Construction a subsidiary of the military company which has become a sweetheart of government mega tenders and is one of the companies expanding the multi-million dual carriage between Windhoek and Okahandja.
Last week The Namibian reported that August 26 Construction, and the Chinese firm Qingjian International, submitted a N$550 million bid to build to supply 60 000 tonnes of railway materials to revamp the Walvis Bay-Tsumeb line.
The other projects August 26 Construction is targeting is the expansion of the Windhoek-Hosea Kutako International Airport road valued at over N$900 million. In 2014, August 26 Logistics was awarded a contract worth over N$1,5 billion for the supply of food to military bases.
In 2001 the defence ministry handpicked August 26 Logistics to procure bombs from a Cyprus-registered company, Harvey Logistics.
After N$3 million went missing, Harvey Logistics was dissolved. Government launched an investigation, but no official has yet been held to account.
August 26 Logistics also had rights in a DRC diamond mine granted to Namibia in 1999 by the late Congo president Laurent Kabila as a reward for military support.
Early this year the company’s subsidiary UBM Construction was awarded a tender to construct the multi-million dollar office park for the //Karas Regional Council at Keetmanshoop, after the council lost N$7 million in a settlement with another construction company.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015