Geingob must act his words on fuel storage, SME Bank
President Hage Geingob’s promise that those who were involved in exposing the country to foreign currency fluctuations in the bulk fuel storage tender will face the music is the best news ever. When The Villager broke the news early this year, the Anti-Corruption Commission director general Paulus Noa dismissed the story as a political witch-hunt
. Now with this new development, we wait to see and hear what Noa will say because indeed there is a probe going on and indeed some people will be punished. If there was ever a statement Noa made that is in bad taste, it was his premature declaration that he will not be involved in political witch-hunts. That draws attention to his work that has already been under scrutiny with some people accusing him of ignoring bigger crimes of corruption while after government drivers misusing vehicles.
It is not clear what Noa will say now after Geingob vow that the government will certainly act on those found to have exposed the government. Maybe Sacky Shanghala was right when he said that Noa’s term of office should not be renewed this time around because he is being used to pursue certain targets. There is no doubt that in the case of the bulk fuel storage, Noa could be exposed because instead of just saying that he had not received any letter asking him to probe Leevi Hungamo, China Harbour Engineering, Babyface and Vaino Nghipondoka, he went all out to rubbish the efforts to do what his office calls for.
Still on this, it would be Namibia’s darkest day if Geingob’s promise turns out to be just another political talk. This should be the time when the President should show that he is serious in as far as stamping out corruption is concerned. On the SME Bank, Geingob’s excuse that the issue is now in the courts is not very convincing because what is before the courts is the bid by thieves to be given back their jobs. That does not have anything to do with the investigation that is being carried out by the Bank of Namibia.
The courts are not dealing with the fraud aspect of the SME Bank scandal but whether what the central bank did is within the law. Surely, this cannot stop the government from involving all the relevant law enforcement agencies to follow the money or those who sent the money. From what the Bank of Namibia governor Ipumbu Shiimi said in his affidavit [see pages 4&5], there is every reason to believe that the fraud at the SME Bank was premeditated by people who knew what they wanted to do.
This is proven by the fact that after committing the offence, none of those involved stayed behind to answer questions. They all fled the country days before the central bank confronted them. If they have nothing to hide or fear, why did they run away? On this basis, Geingob can still do something instead of waiting for the courts that are dealing with a different matter.