4 December 2012

Namibia: GIPF Issue Too Late for Congress Agenda

THE Swapo Party refused a request by the Public Servants Committee (PSC) to discuss the missing millions of the Government Institutions Pension Fund at its weekend congress because the agenda was already decided three months ago.

In its petition the Public Servants Committee wanted the missing public pension money amounting to more than N$660 million to be discussed at the congress, and for the congress to bar any Swapo member implicated in the scandal from standing for any position.

They also wanted Swapo to take a position on those implicated to be denied any government contracts.

Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, who until the weekend was still secretary general of the party, yesterday called on the PSC and the public to exercise patience and to allow the law to take its course.

Iivula-Ithana also said the request to put the GIPF issue on the congress agenda could not be entertained as it was made too late and did not follow the correct procedure.

“As a rule-based organisation, Swapo Party congress is organised in conformity with Article V (11) of the party’s constitution, which requires that a notice and agenda of the congress is made known three months prior to congress,” Iivula-Ithana said.

The PSC in its petition also wanted the party to put more pressure on the government to speed up the investigation of the GIPF missing millions and to charge those who failed to execute their duties in this regard.

“The GIPF-DCP funds issue is in the hands of the judiciary and as the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia provides for the separation of powers, neither Swapo Party, nor the Executive arm of government can interfere in this matter,” said Iivula-Ithana.

Meanwhile, the PSC has registered a vote of no confidence in Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa for not seeing to the speedy conclusion of the matter, and demanded that the Judicial Service Commission approach President Hifikepunye Pohamba to immediately suspend all members of the judiciary implicated in or linked to the missing funds for personal enrichment.

The PSC, which is chaired by Adeline Black, questioned how prominent businesses and Swapo members had been able to access GIPF funds without any accountability, saying that the lack of attention and slow investigation into the disappearance of the GIPF funds should compel Swapo members to express themselves on the matter at the congress.

“This matter shall eventually be resolved,” Iivula-Ithana said.

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