Businessman Paid for PM to World Cup

Businessman Desmond Amunyela said he paid for all the travelling costs of Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob to watch the Fifa World Cup final between Germany and Argentina on Sunday, disputing suggestions taxpayers paid for the trip.

Amunyela leased the government’s Falcon 7X for a flight to Rio de Janeiro on Saturday for N$1 042 662, according to documents seen by New Era.

On board the plane were Geingob, Amunyela, Fisheries Minister Bernard Esau, Agri-bank CEO Leonard Ipumbu, Swapo’s Oshikoto Regional Coordinator Armas Amukwiyu and businessmen Amos Shiyuka, Sacky Shanghala and Vaino Nghipundaka.

Also on board were three bodyguards for the prime minister. On Sunday Geingob was in attendance at the fully-packed Estaacutedio Maracanatilde to witness Germany lifting the World Cup after an extra-time strike by substitute Mario Goumltze against the Argentinians.

On Thursday last week, Geingob wrote a letter to President Hifikepunye Pohamba in which he stated that he had been invited by young entrepreneurs to lead them on a trip to Brazil.

“The group of entrepreneurs will be chartering one of the government Falcon planes on commercial terms and therefore will incur all the costs involved in travelling from Namibia to Brazil and back,” Geingob’s letter, dated 10 July, reads. The Falcon landed back in Windhoek on Monday. Ironically, photos of the prime minister and some members of the entourage went viral on Monday, showing what seemed to be an after-party.

It was these photos that sparked debate on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter – including allegations that taxpayers’ money and a government plane were being used in private activities by Geingob.

But Amunyela yesterday produced documents indicating he personally leased the plane to fly his friends, including the Prime Minister, to Brazil. And contrary to allegations of wastage of state resources, he said government in fact made a profit of about N$500 000 from his leasing of the plane.

Geingob posted on his Facebook page photos of his meeting with Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Fifa President Sepp Blatter.

Amunyela said Namibia benefitted from Geingob’s networking without the state paying a single cent for these engagements.

“Government spent no single cent on the flight, accommodation or transportation of the Prime Minister. We were lucky to have Knowledge Katti in Brazil already, so he helped us with organising some of these things,” Amunyela told New Era yesterday.

“This was actually good business for the state because I left them with a profit of about N$500 000, while the pilots have accrued an extra 16 hours of flight time on their reacutesumeacutes,” Amunyela, an executive director of Paragon Investment Holdings, said.

“Namibia made its presence felt without a single cent coming from government coffers,” he insisted. Amunyela said he was unapologetic about spending his own money on friends – adding that a World Cup final is an event that only occurs once in every four years and cannot be missed by anyone who loves football.

“I appreciate the fact that I live in a country where citizens can demand accountability from their leaders, but this was a private matter,” he further stated.

“I saved money for this and I will start saving up again for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and I will take along whoever I am comfortable taking with.” Amunyela’s relationship with Geingob has been a subject of much debate in recent years, but the young businessman maintained again that there is nothing more to the friendship than what meets the eye.

good young businessman, Desmond keep it up. hopefully in 2018 include me too in the clue. I salute you. May God bless you and your business!

Source : New Era

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