‘I am willing to testify in Fishrot trial’ – Mbumba

Nangolo Mbumba
… President did not say whether he would declare his assets

President Nangolo Mbumba yesterday said he would testify in the Fishrot fraud and corruption trial if the court asked him to.

The president said this when Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani in parliament asked him if he was willing to testify in the trial as former Swapo secretary general.

Mbumba and his successor, Sophia Shaningwa, are listed among the state witnesses in the Fishrot case.

The president said anyone with evidence of his involvement in questionable dealings could take him to court.

“As secretary general, you can go and check the record of the party whatever money you think I have, and if there are people who think they have records of me, they are free to proceed to the courts,” Mbumba said.

He said given that Xaris Energy, a company which he has failed to declare his interest in in the past, no longer exists, discussing it serves no purpose.

“That company no longer exists,” Mbumba said.

He said he is accountable to Namibians.

“I am not the boss, nor am I above parliament or the courts,” he said.

PDM chief whip Elma Dienda called on Mbumba to declare his assets, along with that of his wife, Sustjie.

In 2015 former president Hage Geingob and his wife, Monica Geingos, jointly declared their assets shortly before Geingob assumed office.

“Both the late president and his wife declared their assets, and people want to see the same from the current president and his wife. Rumours have it they are both in business, so we have to know as the first lady is also on the payroll of the government,” Dienda said.


Political scientist Rui Tyitende says Mbumba, in his state of the nation address (Sona) delivered yesterday, failed to report on the actual state of the country.

Tyitende says the president’s statement overlooks critical issues, such as the persistently high unemployment rate, escalating poverty levels and widening inequality.

He says notably absent is any mention of the approximately one million Namibians enduring inadequate housing conditions, along with 1,6 million individuals enduring poverty and a profound sense of hopelessness.

Tyitende says there was also a glaring absence of an acknowledgment of the increasing suicide rate in the country, particularly among men.

“A real state of the nation address would have mentioned these challenges and charted a clear path on how to address them. In short, this was a great deal of sloganeering and rhetoric that suggests the late president will govern from his grave and Mbumba will hold the candle until the lights are out on 21 March 2025,” he says.

Political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah says Mbumba’s Sona yesterday left more questions than answers, because it relied largely on old information mentioned in previous addresses.

“It is concerning that we keep regurgitating old information as evidence of progress and improvement. There was no concrete plan for what comes next,” he says.

Kamwanyah particularly points out the need to discuss the allocation of land and water resources for green hydrogen production, as well as the reliance on foreign infrastructure and expertise in this sector.

He cautions against the risk of neo-colonialism in the exploitation of the country’s resources and urges for measures to safeguard against such exploitation.

“Yes, it’s understandable that Mbumba is a caretaker who has to implement what was left for him, but I was hoping that on key programmes and initiatives he would’ve outlined a roadmap on what really needs to be done,” Kamwanyah says.


Mbumba yesterday said the government is committed to ensure that the Welwitschia Sovereign Wealth Fund is transparent and accountable to the Namibian people.

“I am pleased to report that since its establishment, the fund’s investment returns have grown from the initial seed capital of N$262 million to N$425 million. Namibia’s economic trajectory is promising, with a projected medium-term growth forecast of between 3% and 4%,” he said.

The president said to eliminate deaths due to hunger, the government supported 331 000 households with food items, while 33 105 marginalised households received drought relief support on a monthly basis.

According to him, 57 581 farmers were capacitated in crop, livestock production, animal health, horticulture and poultry production, among others.

“In addition, 354 tractors and other equipment were deployed to farmers countrywide, through the Namibia Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Implement Programme,” Mbumba said.

He added the government resolved to reignite the productivity of green schemes by outsourcing their operations through competitive leasing.

In addition, the president said to date, 90% of fishing rights are owned by Namibians, and the sector employs about 18 000 Namibians.

“The government has successfully implemented the employment redressing programme, which employs 2 367 people,” he said.

“This is a sustainable job opportunity initiative, addressing the challenges of joblessness experienced by former fishermen since 2015,” he said.

With regards to job creation to secure livelihoods, Mbumba said, the government facilitated the placement of 1 350 jobseekers in different sectors under the Namibia Integrated Employment Information System.

Mbumba said over N$874 million was paid to veterans of the liberation struggle as a grant and for projects.

“In 2023, the school-feeding programme reached 466 860 pupils across 1 514 schools countrywide,” he said.

Mbumba said about 146 boreholes were drilled in various regions, with 97 commissioned.

In addition, 51 boreholes and 45 water supply points were rehabilitated, he said.

“To enhance the availability of water, 310 000 liters of water was supplied to rural communities,” he said.

Despite the effort by the government to drill boreholes in communities with water scarcity, borehole equipment continues to be stolen, he said.

Last week the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform’s deputy executive for water affairs, Elijah Ngurare, on social media said “thieves have, in the past 48 hours, stolen pumps and solar panels from boreholes at Okamanya and Okanyanona villages in Okongo constituency, Ohangwena region. Hope the police will soon arrest the culprits”.

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