… Tender magnet says he has no beef with the president
By Elvis Muraranganda
TENDER king Vaino Nghipondoka has denied that he is bankrolling forces opposed to President Hage Geingob, ahead of the Swapo elective congress, slated for November.
Nghipondoka maintained during a wide-ranging interview this week with Confidente that contrary to popular belief, he still considers Geingob to be a friend, and that the two of them have never had a fallout, but had last spoken in 2016.
During the run-up to the 2012 Swapo Congress, Nghipondoka and businessman Desmond Amunyela, together with ruling party Oshikoto regional coordinator, Armas Amukwiyu, were part of Geingob’s team, which campaigned heavily for him to secure the party vice-presidency, and by extension the country’s presidency.
There have been reports that their relationship with Geingob has since soured over the past two years.
However, Nghipondoka distanced himself from anybody with an agenda to unseat Geingob, saying the Head of State did nothing wrong to him, and that no bad blood exists between the two of them.
“That is rubbish. I am a businessman not a politician, what interest would I have in wanting to unseat Geingob. I know how these issues started. It was because of that Okalongo wedding media report,” Nghipondoka explained.
Earlier this year, the media reported that Nghipondoka held a secret meeting at his homestead in the North, during a wedding, where a conspiracy was reportedly hatched against Geingob.
“Let those who say Geingob and I had a fallout come out and explain. Fallout how? From what? He is still my friend, and he has never said he is not my friend.
“We are not as close as we used to be, and the last time we spoke was last year. [This is] because he is the president of this country. Let us allow him to run the country.”
Earlier this year, Nghipondoka publically became friends with Dr Elijah Ngurare and Job Amupanda, who openly campaigned against Geingob in 2012, in support of Jerry Ekandjo.
A picture of Ngurare, Amupanda, Nghipondoka, Amunyela and Amukwiyu went viral, as they announced their newfound unity.
“This was not planned. We met at an event and decided that it is time that we as young people put aside our differences and work together,” Nghipondoka said this week.
“Why is it that we speak of unity when we are with some people, and then when we meet with certain others, we want disunity?”
He questioned why it is acceptable for Swapo cadres to publicly mingle with politicians from opposition parties, but are ostracised and called names, when seen with fellow Swapo comrades.
“I have lots of friends. I am not a politician. I do not even want to be a minister or central committee member. I am not interested in those things.”
Nghipondoka added that he is also not part of those business people who are angry at the Geingob’s administration for previously freezing State tenders, among a range of national austerity measures.
“What did Geingob to do disadvantage me in terms of tenders? He did not do anything. It is not his fault or that of any administrator in the government. I can’t blame Geingob for the position we find ourselves in right now as a country.
“What I am saying is that we need to create industries as a country. I am not going to be in tenders forever,” Nghipondoka said.
Commenting on the potential conflict of interest that might emerge, due to friendships between politicians and business people, Nghipondoka said this week, “I have been doing business for the past 10 years. Not even once has a politician done any favour for me. I am a Namibian, i employ Namibians. I don’t want favours. I do not want to be in tenders forever.
“Politicians are there to create a conducive environment. We do not want favours from them.”
Nghipondoka stressed that Namibia’s business community should meet government halfway, by creating industries to sustain the economy, and that State money should remain in the country.
When asked this week about his alleged fallout with Geingob, Amunyela said that it is culturally wrong for him to comment on matters, before an elder has pronounced himself.
“Kindly ask the elder [Geingob], because I am scared I might say something wrong in the eyes of the elder,” he explained.
Amunyela, who was recently elected as one of the Windhoek East District delegates to the Swapo Congress, said he is not new to politics, as he had started in the party’s youth wing structures many years ago.
Amukwiyu said he did not wish to speak about that matter, when asked about the current status of his friendship with Geingob.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015