Namibia: Geingob Stands By Namandje

(File photo).

President Hage Geingob has refused to distance himself from his personal lawyer, Sisa Namandje, who has been implicated in the Fishrot scandal.

Namandje's law firm - Sisa Namandje & Co Inc. - has been under investigation on allegations that it assisted politicians and their cronies involved in the Fishrot scandal to launder money from the National Fishing Corporation (Fishcor).

The president, however, said it was not logical for him to ditch his personal lawyer as he [Namandje] was not found guilty yet.

"Is he found guilty? Do I sleep with him? What are you talking about? What are you guys up to?" Geingob asked.

The president said this at a State House press conference on Friday responding to questions on whether he would distance himself from Namandje to live up to his promises of fighting against corruption.

At that press conference, the president also vaguely hinted that his wife, Monica Geingos, was "being followed".

He said someone was sent to find out who he was seeing and whether he carries cash around. Geingob said the behaviour of some people who have been following his wife, Monica Geingos, around and "the people I work with" was childish and nonsensical.

He added that the public will be embarrassed and disappointed to learn that he was not involved in the Fishrot scandal.

"Nonsense! So childish. If I was involved, we should know it by now. Facts should be there. Why are you trying to bring in innuendos and so on. Why are you creating stories for people to believe those stories?" a fuming Geingob asked.

He further stressed: "By now you should know if somebody was involved . . . my wife being followed. What is it?" "If people are investigating, let them investigate and find the facts. Who is stopping them? Let them find the facts and your wishful thinking will be embarrassed or disappointed," Geingob said.

The Fishrot scandal involves allegations that Geingob's political campaign was funded by money laundered through the fishing sector.

Geingob and the ruling Swapo Pary have been under scrutiny for the past few months after it emerged in the High Court that the money channelled through Namandje's law firm's trust account was allegedly further transferred to Swapo to fund, among other things, Geingob's political campaign. The payments were made between 2015 and 2017.

Anti-Corruption Commission investigator Willem Olivier testified in the High Court in June that the N$17,5 million from state-owned Fishcor that was paid into the trust account of Sisa Namandje & Co Inc. was used for a Swapo election campaign.

The president was also asked to comment on allegations that State House was involved in the appointment of a spy at the Anti-Corruption Commission. He said he does not appoint people in positions being questioned.

Geingob went on to label his alleged links to the scandalous scheme as a political witch-hunt. He claimed that continued media questioning regarding the Fishrot scandal was tarnishing Namibia's international outlook as "the most corrupt country, which is not the case".

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