As skeletons continue to tumble out of the controversy surrounding the relationship between former Minister of Information and Communication Technology Tjekero Tweya and former Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings’(NPTH) board chair Ally Angula, new revelations have emerged about the sale of NPTH land in Walvis Bay.
Tweya, The Patriot can confirm, was not satisfied with the board not implementing his orders during his tenure at the ministry.
The former ICT minister was particularly irked by the fact that the board dragged its feet when he instructed them to avail land belonging to NPTH in Walvis Bay for the development of a film studio.
NPTH owns Farm 33 in Walvis Bay and had an offer from the Ministry of Defence for acquisition.
In a series of text messages between Tweya and Angula that took place in December 2017, the latter reminded the then minister that the farm had been earmarked for future ICT purposes and that only a small portion was to be allocated to the defence ministry.
Tweya was not happy with the snail-pace at which the board dealt with the matter and the fact that a portion of the land would be sold to the military.
“Madam chair, it has come to my attention that nothing[sic] board under your leadership undermines my intention to allocate Farm 33 in Walvis Bay to develop a film studio and you want to sell it to the defence ministry. Please put that idea in abeyance and the property should still be for its [intended] development,” said Tweya.
Angula responded saying: “The ministry has never in any shape or form communicated that the land has been allocated for a film studio.”
The film studio was not the only subject the two clashed on, a few months before the deadlock over the film studio, Angula refused to bow into Tweya’s demands to roll out the N$1.1 billion dollar 100% population coverage project because she believed it would set MTC on a value destruction path. She says her firing last year was because she defied Tweya’s order.
Messages shared between Angula and Tweya indicates Tweya saying: “Please proceed[100% population coverage] I am under pressure here again with the pm[sic] and all delegates.”
Angula responded saying: “Honorable minister, I understand, financial prudence is also however required so that we do not end up with two unaffordable activities running at the same time, however kindly request your PA forward same[sic] signed statement for tabling to the NPTH board.”
Tweya wanted the equipment for the project to be ordered in order for the roll out to start in September or October 2017.
Angula responded saying the ICT permanent secretary was requested to submit a written request to NPTH as well as the proposed dividend reductions as the funding modality for the 100% population coverage rollout. The dividend reductions related to MTC as it was recommended that MTC reduces its dividend and finance the Tower Project with the remainder. Internationally, the norm is that activities of this nature are usually funded by the Universal Fund rather than by one player.
The 100% population coverage project will cost N$1.1 billion to provide coverage to approximately 110 000 additional users. This would translate into an investment of N$10 000 per new customer estimated to contribute N$40 per month.
In documents seen by this publication, should a profit margin of 50% be realised this means a payback period of at least 20 years per user should estimated revenue and profit be returned at 5% per annum.