…flaunts his N$840 000 yearly salary
Leader of the official opposition McHenry Venaani has dared President Hage Geingob to reveal his salary to the nation, a fete Geingob has been unwilling to do so far despite singing the transparency song on repeat. Venaani who described himself as a “not wealthy but stable” politician earlier this week, challenged Geingob to come forth and tell the nation how much he earns. “He[Geingob] has been singing the charade of transparency for so long but he cannot even reveal his salaries nor that of his expensive advisors,” Venaani said.
Venaani claimed that at least three of Geingob’s five advisors earn above N$1.2 million per annum while the other two earn nothing less than N$900 000 per year. The Presidency has been reluctant to make public the salaries of the advisors since they were appointed last year, and despite the fact that their salaries are being paid by taxpayers.
On Tuesday after Geingob delivered his State of the Nation Address, Venaani reportedly said that: “We are dealing with a president who claims to be transparent when he is not being transparent.” He said the Sona was a “half state of the nation address” because the president did not report on any policies, nor indicate how many bills would be tabled in the National Assembly this year as expected. Geingob also evaded questions on the disclosure of his special advisory team’s salaries following Venaani’s request for him to do so during the question and answer session of the Sona with Parliamentarians. The eight special advisors were appointed in June 2015 to assist the president on various scopes from constitutional matters and human rights to youth unemployment and development. The team was selected as per experience in the public and private sector. Venaani asked the Head of State why the salary scales of his A-team had not been availed, while the president freely spoke of a transparent government.
Salaries in the country are not a secret at all,” was Geingob’s response to the official opposition leader’s query. Venaani also asked why Government had not commissioned an investigation into Telecom Namibia’s N$600 million investment in Angola. The national telecommunications utility poured millions into two loss making ventures with no returns since 2006 in a deal with the telecommunications and information and communications technology (ICT) services provider, Mundo Startel in Angola. The DTA leader also noted that Telecom Namibia had also not presented any audited financial statements in the National Assembly, which is a requirement by law. “Will you allow that situation to continue unabated?” Venaani asked. Geingob, however, ignored the questions on the telecommunications company’s investment and presentation of audited financial statements.
Additional reporting by Nampa