Finance ministry/NamibRe want to appeal against insurance giants


Insurance companies enjoyed a high court victory following an order that overruled compelling them to reinsure inside the country, but the finance ministry has now applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.


The ministry and NamibRe were dissatisfied by the court order and both are battling eight insurance companies.

 They want them to reinsure with NamibRe.

This week they locked horns in a bid to prove whether there was any prospect of success on the part of the appellants in the Supreme Court or the opposite.


Both appellants submitted that the court failed to involve parliament in the case so that it could be heard since the order to compel insurance companies came from it.

Both appellants also argued that the court failed to include five other insurance companies that chose to comply with the order to localise reinsurance.

At the heart of the argument is that the court did not have the power to suspend an order of parliament.


“There is no authority in Namibia of which we are aware for the proposition that a High Court has the power, absent a finding of constitutional invalidity, to suspend the application or implementation of an Act of Parliament and legislative measures promulgated under it,” they argued. 

Said lawyers for both in their head of arguments, “An application for leave to appeal does not entail the rearguing of a matter. Nor persuading the Court that the order was wrongly made. That is not the issue.”


“In an application for leave to appeal a party must merely show that there is a reasonable prospect that another court may come to a different conclusion to that reached by the court a quo.”


The ministry’s argument also remains that the finance minister was right in his move to force insurance companies to invest locally because the economy was losing N$1 billion annually.

This is approximately N$83 million on a monthly basis.


The lawyers thus submitted that the consequence of the court order would be an irretrievable outflow of reinsurance capital of N$2 billion. 


“The measures enacted by the minister are also intended to develop reinsurance capacity within Namibia for the benefit of all citizens by enabling the state reinsurer, NamibRe, to expand its balance sheet and develop domestic reinsurance capacity,” they argued.


As such, they submitted that the court order was thwarting these statutory objects as well as to disable NamibRe.