Geingob compromised to fight corruption: Kavekotora

 The Presidency has refused to say whether or not President Hage Geingob will distance himself from his personal lawyer, Sisa Namandje, following allegations that the latter’s firm was used to launder money.

Presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari told Nampa on three separate occasions the Head of State is preoccupied with ensuring the safety of Namibians against COVID-19 and would not entertain questions regarding Namandje.

“The President is busy fighting COVID-19 and will not respond to those questions. There is no comment,” Hengari said last week at State House upon inquiry.

Since taking office back in 2015, Geingob’s presidency has been one characterised by transparency, accountability and good governance.

However, Rally for Democracy and Progress leader, Mike Kavekotora is skeptical about the President’s drive and ability to fight corruption.

“We are now [more] than ever before convinced that the president is too compromised to fight corruption. Our conclusion is based on the undeniable fact that many of his friends and close associates are implicated in fraudulent transactions ranging from illicit financial flows, money laundering, embezzlement [through] dubious transactions and other corrupt deals,” Kavekotora said in a press statement recently.

His remarks come at a time when Namandje is at the heart of a legal battle against the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Law Society of Namibia (LSN).

The two entities want a warrant issued to compel Namandje to open up his books for their ongoing investigations.

The lawyer is said to be refusing to open his books, citing client privilege.

It is being investigated whether law firm – Sisa Namandje & Co – was used by certain individuals to facilitate illicit payments linked to the Fishrot corruption scandal.

Namandja has denied any wrongdoing.

Local political analyst, Ndumba Kamwanyah said it is wise for Geingob – “if he has nothing to lose or hide” – to distance himself from the lawyer, in all ways possible.

“The charge of money laundering in the context of the fishrot is very serious. It does not do well for the president to be associated with someone implicated in it [fishrot]. I know that everybody is innocent until proven guilty but the president must take measures to protect himself,” Kamwanyah said.

According to the analyst, it is common practice for leaders to distance themselves from scandal-linked persons.

“He must give a chance for Namandje to defend himself without that cloud of ‘I am the President’s lawyer’ hanging over his head and for investigations to run smoothly,” he added.

When contacted, Executive Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research Graham Hopwood said it was premature at this stage to say anything as the matter is before the courts.

Source: Namibia Press Agency