Thursday 17 June 2021
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Geingob, Venaani and the DTA ‘death’ claims

The Official Opposition party has dismissed claims the party is facing electoral extinction. Pundits predicted that DTA of Namibia would die out after it was defeated during the 2009 polls under the helm of Katuutire Kaura, but when McHenry Venaani took over in 2013 the party resurrected and regained the official opposition status in 2014.

Venaani this week took time to respond to claims by Swapo Party’s acting president Hage Geingob that the DTA was on the verge of extinction.
Geingob made the remark while responding to a question by a journalist as to whether government was going to institute an inquiry into the SME Bank saga, a request also made by the DTA in Parliament earlier this year.  To this question, Geingob retorted: “We have no time of waking up people[DTA] who are dying. We are not here to discuss DTA. They just to talk about Swapo to be alive (relevant).”

Geingob added: “We are doing it (SME Bank case) the way it is being done. There is no collective administration here. We have been elected to govern. Leave the governance to us.” Refuting Geingob’s claims, a clearly disappointed Venaani called on Geingob to “put his own house in order before criticizing others”. “He [Geingob] knows and I know that the DTA is a growing party. The last presidential elections have shown him, the local authority elections have shown that the DTA is a party on a growth trajectory. The very reason why he [Geingob] does not want to see me is that he is afraid of having an intellectual dialogue with me because he knows that if he meets me, I am not going to be told by him because I know better. It is not for him to decide which party is growing and which is dying. His party [Swapo] is losing membership. His party is in a crisis… [Geingob] is in a crisis, he does not know whether he is a leader or an acting leader of his own party,” vented Venaani.

SME Bank shock
The party’s treasurer general Nico Smit in a statement this week expressed shock when Geingob defended Frans Kapofi and George Simataa who both served as chairmen of the board of SME Bank respectively. Geingob said the duo should not be blamed for the calamitous exercise in mismanagement and misappropriation of a public institution and public resources when each of them had a fiduciary duty respectively towards the SME Bank.

“It is laughable that President Geingob would regard it as the responsibility of the Bank of Namibia to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the Management and Board of the SME Bank as set out in law, and one has to question whether President Geingob is familiar with the contents of the Companies Act. This is nothing short of an exercise to protect the politically connected,” said Smit.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Professor Peter Katjavivi recently ruled out of order a motion to discuss the SME Bank which Venaani intended on tabling in the National Assembly citing that the matter was sub judice. “If Parliament, the highest law making body in the land, is prohibited from debating a matter because that matter is before the courts then similarly the President is required to show restraint despite the fact that his political lieutenants are the ones under the spotlight.

It is also ironic that the President would continually make reference to the importance of allowing justice to take its course, yet he sees it fit to intervene in the process and prescribe outcomes,” Smit said.

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