Internal Affairs

Venaani calls on Geingob to recall Defence Minister

Summary

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president, McHenry Venaani on Wednesday wrote an open letter to President Hage Geingob calling on him to recall the Defence Minister, Peter Vilho.The call, Venaani said, is to allow for an impartial investigation into …

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president, McHenry Venaani on Wednesday wrote an open letter to President Hage Geingob calling on him to recall the Defence Minister, Peter Vilho.

The call, Venaani said, is to allow for an impartial investigation into a barrage of corruption allegations against Vilho, the Ministry of Defence and its subsidiary company, August 26.

In his letter, Venaani stated that it is unsettling that no audit report has been submitted to the National Assembly despite the fact that August 26 and its subsidiaries have been recipients of multimillion dollar government contracts.

“In the Ombudsman’s report, one finds that consecutive boards of August 26 Holding Company failed since its incorporation on 14 August 1998 to submit annual reports to the portfolio ministers; in an event that they did the portfolio ministers failed to submit these annual reports to the National Assembly,” he said.

Venaani further justified his petition to the president by noting that August 26 is a wholly-owned government enterprise and is not immune to public scrutiny and internationally recognised accounting and reporting standards.

The PDM leader further expressed disappointment in the president for what he termed his inability to heed to calls for accountability and transparency of August 26, stating that he among others have called on the president’s office before to intervene in matters concerning August 26 and its continuous failure to account for taxpayers’ money.

“At a time when the nation needs to be reassured of a leadership that has sufficient understanding of what is required to jumpstart our economy, you have done little to this effect,” he added.

Last year, Ombudsman John Walters called on August 26 to account for public funds that have been pumped into the institution since its inception after PDM lawmaker Nico Smit filed a complaint in 2018 to the Ombudsman over the alleged continued lack of scrutiny into the finances of August 26.

Source: Namibia Press Agency