Monday 12 April 2021
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Do politicians over-promise?

On more than three occasions, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani has threatened to sue or drag government to court for one or the other reason but all that has remained toothless threats with no action.
In March this year during the SME Bank millions saga, Venaani threatened to take government to court if his request for a judiciary inquiry into the SME Bank saga is not met. He said this during a presser where he called on government to act on SME Bank, saying the board needs to explain to the nation what really happened to the money that was supposedly invested in South Africa.
“We are calling for a judiciary inquiry into what really happened, and especially the board must tell us what truly happened. People are about to lose their money and government wants to subside the N$200 million.
If our request for a judiciary inquiry into the SME Bank is not met, we are mobilising resources to approach the Court of Law. We are contemplating going to court because we think that there is a strong case to be made of criminal activity,” Venaani said while accusing President Hage Geingob of taking a back seat on the matter.
In June this year, the leader of the official opposition in parliament said he will request the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence and Security to investigate the affairs of the Central Intelligence Service. During this press conference, Venaani urged Geingob to stop the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS) from appealing the case they lost against The Patriot newspaper, and save taxpayers’ money.
As it stands, the government and the spy agency had given notice that they will be appealing to the Supreme Court against the High Court judgment. The nation yearns to see Venaani’s intervention and what action he plans to take.
His words were “We are very worried that government and the spy agency are set to waste taxpayers’ money in court in an appeal that I fundamentally believe has no merit.”
The latest of the array of threats from Venaani came during the revelations of the Russian land deal. PDM in October said it will approach the High Court on an urgent basis to have the deal in which the government sold four farms to a Russian billionaire overturned.
Venaani was reacting to news that Russian billionaire Rashid Sardarov bought four farms outside Windhoek for more than N$43 million, donated them to the state, and signed a 99-year lease agreement for them.
The farms, measuring 17 000 hectares, were transferred to Sardarov’s Switzerland-based company, Comsar Properties SA, on 28 September 2018, two days before the second national land conference which took place from 1 to 5 October.
Last week, The Patriot revealed that Russian oligarch Sardarov paid N$207 million for the four farms he bought near Windhoek and not N$43 million as claimed by Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma. And still on this, the nation awaits for Venaani to act on his threats.
Put to the politician as to what is delaying the implementation of his threats, the politician said legal processes have slowed down his efforts. With regards to the SME saga, Venaani highlighted that there are ongoing court cases on the matter and the PDM is thus waiting for the court to pronounce itself before they take on the matter.
“With regards to NCIS, we approached the Ombudsman to give us legal opinion on the spy agency and ‘August 26’. To date, we have not received anything from them. What we are doing is simply exploring these platforms before we go to court. But we are not getting anything from the Ombudsman so we can act,” he said.
Venaani shared the same sentiments on the Russian deal saying the legal process has clipped his hands on acting with urgency.
“We have our lawyers that we have already paid to deal with the process and that is a process on its own.
In the meantime, what we want to act urgently on is to stop developments at the farm while the process of suing government commences.”
“I, as politician am equally frustrated but I can only push so much, the process will take care of itself. That is why we will have to wait on the SME case just like the rest,” said Venaani.

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