CONFIDENTE’S interview with Prime Minister Saara Kuungongelwa- Amadhila of January 19, 2017, titled, ‘PM declares she has no ambition for Swapo Vice Presidency’ was quite revealing – informative and educational.
The Prime Minister should be commended for giving excellent answers, but reality tells of a different story.
Without playing the blame game, it’s evident that Namibia’s financial “rot” was in the making long before the Geingob administration was assembled. There is no doubt that Namibia was losing money big time. Billions were drained from state coffers.
If in doubt, follow the paper trail! One can see when the “rot” started.
For many Namibians, it should now be clear why GRN got engulfed in so much public debt. From the interview, it doesn’t make sense on how GRN contracts became so exorbitant. That was broad daylight robbery.
With the financial “rot” that has span over years, it beats logic to claim of sound macroeconomic policies when a country had suffered massive financial losses – be it with the inflated tenders, “mysterious disappearance of funds” or the loss of 600 million dollars in thin air with airport scanners plus the Social Security’s 30 million and GIFP etc.
Or didn’t the inflated tenders have a negative effect on our public debt which GRN is trying to manage today? Or is she saying, regardless of the inflated tender amounts, GRN’s finances are in order? I doubt it because those “questionable” tenders sent public debt up the ceilings.
Aren’t those financial irregularities! Or is this the new norm for sound macroeconomic policies? Macroeconomic policies defined as “the set of government rules and regulations to control or stimulate the aggregate indicators of an economy…”.
Following, in this case, one of the main regulatory macroeconomic policy is the fiscal policy which focuses on spending and tax. Is GRN’s spending and tax system sound? I would argue otherwise. The answer is obvious! A jackpot for some top government officials and those well connected – tenderpreneurs.
That said, where was Namibia’s debt management policy when it was most needed? I guess on autopilot! Public debt had gone skyrocketing. Where were the experts who would have stabilised things? Nowhere to be seen.
Of surprise, why did GRN allow such contracts to go forth? How can anyone justify an increment five times the initial amount as was with the Walvis Bay Oil Storage of 900 million to 5.5 billion, so were all those other inflated prices?
Begging the question, why were those tenders not halted?
A speculative answer can be closely tied to “Kickbacks”. That is what would make sense in these financial blunders. Given that it was taxpayer’s coffers been embezzled, no one cared. The inflated tender figures would have been a red flag for those in authority, the Accounting Officer.
Surely, just because Cabinet had approved programmes, it didn’t mean a free fall! There should still be check and balances on GRN spending. Unfortunately, such financial controls were not done in the many financial scandals that have hit Namibia. Such financial irregularities have cost the nation a great deal – suffering and misery.
Imagine, health care will be cutting on overtime to the tune of 180 million, which could have easily have been absorbed in those inflated tenders. Namibian lives must be sacrificed for the financial mess – where someone would have pocketed millions for turning a blind eye.
If it were in other advanced democratic countries, congressional/ parliamentarian hearings could be rocketing our nation. The electorates have the right to know. Yes, heads would be rolling!
Namibians should have a reason to call for an investigation in those seemingly dubious tenders. After all, those questionable financial transactions have a country “broke” – resultant in spending cuts that are negatively affecting GRN operations: health care, policing, drought-relief, education, and other major projects that would have benefitted the nation.
Equally, given that the current administration is expected to sort the financial woes facing our country – emanating from such “financial irregularities”, the President should forcefully get answers for the nation.
President Hage Geingob must deliver on his pledge regarding questionable tenders. “Any tender that we suspect that is somehow unethical will be stopped… We will have forensic investigations into certain issues” promised the President. A good call!
And Calle Schlettwein was right, “Government like you and me has to live within its means…” We must not be on a spending spree as if there is no tomorrow.
Overall, if Namibia wants to succeed and prosper, GRN must be proactive in running state affairs. The notion of been caught with pants down – duped and conned by fraudsters – must be history, so should accountability and integrity be the over-riding principles among elected government officials. So, should personal interest not override national interest.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015