Namibia: Kawana Warns Against Prosecutor General Attacks

18 September 2019

Attorney general Albert Kawana has warned the public against attacking the prosecutor general Martha Imalwa for her decision not to prosecute people who benefited from the N$600 million allegedly lost from the national pension fund.

Kawana said this on Tuesday in parliament where he also announced that his office is willing to fund people who want to sue for the lost N$600 million from the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF).

He said it is regrettable when statements are made whose contents are aimed at tarnishing the professional integrity of the prosecutor general.

"I therefore strongly urge our citizens to exercise restrain and verify facts before making statements or publishing information on matters of public interest".

He added: "It is extremely dangerous in a democracy if the independence of the prosecutor general is adversely affected by negative public statements when there are established procedures".

Members of public and some political parties have urged the president to fire Imalwa for failing to prosecute people who unduly benefited from the pension fund.

The GIPF has in recent weeks tried to downplay the loss, claiming that it was N$386 million and not N$600 million as widely reported.

The Namibian Women Lawyers Association also issued a statement last month, threatening the GIPF to come clean, or face legal action.

"We reserve the rights of our members, including private prosecution," he association's chairperson, Ruth Herunga said.

A private prosecution is a criminal proceeding initiated by an individual or private organisation, instead of a public prosecutor who represents the state.

Kawana told parliament that his office can help by paying the cost of suing for the lost millions.

He called on the public to come forward with information on the issue.

"Should such information prove wrongdoing, I am assured by the prosecutor general that she will review her decision and immediately start with prosecution proceedings," Kawana added.

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