The Namibian (Windhoek)

16 June 2014

Namibia: Pohamba Complains of Isolation

THE Swapo Party Youth League has defended President Hifikepunye Pohamba amid reports that his daughter benefited from a N$16,4 million housing contract, and that he lashed out at party officials at a Khomas regional executive meeting last week.

At the meeting, Pohamba allegedly complained about being isolated and being unable to trust those around him, including those serving with him in the party's top four.

The top four Swapo positions are occupied by Pohamba, Party vice president Hage Geingob, secretary general Nangolo Mbumba and deputy secretary general Laura McLeod-Katjirua.

Pohamba allegedly complained about information being leaked to the media, including discussions in the meetings held by the top four. He allegedly further said he was not sure whether to trust even the top four.

Mbumba confirmed the meeting, saying Pohamba held meetings with the party regional leaders around the country. He, however, denied that the President lashed out at leaders at the meeting.

Party sources said Pohamba's outburst could have been caused by the fact that he knew the reports of his daughter's tender would soon surface in the media. Others, however, say that he was not aware of her business with NHE.

Mbumba added that Pohamba is not against the media nor did he speak against the media or those who have a relationship with the media but that party leaders are tasked with the responsibility to lead others and therefore must behave as such.

At said meeting, Pohamba allegedly said he was aware of a group within the party that was still trying to block the 50/50 zebra-style gender representation on the party list. He is said to have told the meeting that he will see to it that the 50/50 representation will be implemented this year.

Party sources said there is still a section of the party which is opposed to its implementation.

They said a group of party regional coordinators are planning to write a letter to the secretary general's office, requesting that the 50/50 quota system be implemented in 2019 only.

In his statement issued at the weekend, Elijah Ngurare said there seems to be "a silent but well orchestrated campaign" against Pohamba.

Ngurare said the campaign is being oiled through some media houses and perfected by some individuals who occupy strategic positions in the ruling party and government.

The weekly Confidentè newspaper has the story that Pohamba's daughter, Kaupumhote, and Old Mutual Africa business managing director Johannes !Gawaxab's daughter Taschiona were awarded a N$16,4 million National Housing Enterprise (NHE) tender to build houses in Otjiwarongo.

NHE allegedly awarded Kata Investments the contract to build 42 core and 19 conventional houses in Otjiwarongo's Orwetoveni suburb, with the project expected to have commenced by October 2013 and completed by July 2014.

The weekly said Kaupumhote and Taschiona's company, Kata Investments CC, whose registration number is 2012/9248, got the tender barely a year after registration, making the NHE's multi-million dollar project the first major job awarded to them.

In the statement, Ngurare alleged that the information was given to Confidentè in an envelope that was slid under the door.

He said the fact that the envelope was dropped at the newspaper's offices shows a calculated political campaign to tarnish Pohamba's legacy. "It is not clear what his crime is or what wrong he has done to them," read the statement.

Ngurare added that the insinuation that Pohamba influenced the awarding of the tender to his daughter is very preposterous and insulting to his character.

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