‘!Gawaxab must resign’

Calls are growing for Bank of Namibia governor Johannes !Gawaxab to resign from his position at the bank.

The central bank governor is still to go public on how he allegedly misled the Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC) by failing to declare that he sold some of his businesses to relatives before taking up his position at the bank.

He allegedly told the commission that he sold his businesses to “non-related parties”.

The NaCC last week confirmed that !Gawaxab was fined N$1 million, together with his associates, for the transgression.

Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian Nico Smit on Monday added his voice to those calling for !Gawaxab’s head, saying: “He should save himself the embarrassment created by his failure to declare that he sold part of his businesses to relatives before taking over the job.”

He told Desert Radio that: “It is very obvious there is something smelling at the Bank of Namibia [sic]. I can tell you this issue of people selling their businesses without the approval of the NaCC is very widespread in the country. It just needs journalists to investigate.”

Smit said !Gawaxab should save his integrity.

“For someone in that position he should take his bag and walk and save himself. It is very clear that Mr !Gawaxab, who is the godfather of the Financial Intelligence Act, stepped on a lot of people in the financial sector, and they are now coming after him,” he said.

Desert Radio and The Namibian have been reaching out to !Gawaxab and the Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprises for comment on the matter since last week, but they are yet to respond formally.

Kalimbo Iipumbu of the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters is also pushing for !Gawaxab’s resignation.

“The moment this issue was confirmed by the NaCCC he should have resigned. Now the president must act and save the bank.”

Speaking on the same platform, political analyst Henning Melber said the calls for !Gawaxab to step down justify the claims of those who were against his appointment as governor because of his business ties.

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