Investing Or Squandering?

Investing Or Squandering?

IN the past two years or so, there have been reports in the newspapers of money from public institutions like GIPF and Agribank being taken by politically well-connected individuals and being dumped in dubious and ill-prepared business ventures which collapse or are liquidated only to resurface again under new names and the financing cyrcle starts over again.

The recent case is that of “Avid investment corporation”. This SYL-owned company borrowed 30 millions dollars from SSC, a public company, for investment purposes and undertook to repay the loan with interest after four months.That money is now a bone of contention and it is reported that N$ 20 million of it has been transferred to Uruguay.Will this money ever be recovered or will it join the list of other monetary messes? But the million dollar question (or more correctly “the 30 million dollar question”) is: whether the Avid scandal will pass or fail the threshold of President Pohamba’s anti-corruption campaign? Although it is still early to predict, it looks as if the political career of the Deputy Minister of Works, Transport and Communications will go down the history of Namibia as the “shortest shuffle to shame”, irrespective of whether Pohamba dismisses him or keeps him in his Cabinet.This being because he is the first Cabinet minister in independent Namibia to pick up a financial scandal in the first 100 days, or so, in office.But on top of effectively dealing with cases like that of Avid Investment corporation there is also a need, and an urgent one, for the government to revisit its BEE program because at the moment it is nothing more than a luxurious plan for black elites and not a poverty-reduction strategy.D Uuyuni waKamati WindhoekThis SYL-owned company borrowed 30 millions dollars from SSC, a public company, for investment purposes and undertook to repay the loan with interest after four months.That money is now a bone of contention and it is reported that N$ 20 million of it has been transferred to Uruguay.Will this money ever be recovered or will it join the list of other monetary messes? But the million dollar question (or more correctly “the 30 million dollar question”) is: whether the Avid scandal will pass or fail the threshold of President Pohamba’s anti-corruption campaign? Although it is still early to predict, it looks as if the political career of the Deputy Minister of Works, Transport and Communications will go down the history of Namibia as the “shortest shuffle to shame”, irrespective of whether Pohamba dismisses him or keeps him in his Cabinet.This being because he is the first Cabinet minister in independent Namibia to pick up a financial scandal in the first 100 days, or so, in office.But on top of effectively dealing with cases like that of Avid Investment corporation there is also a need, and an urgent one, for the government to revisit its BEE program because at the moment it is nothing more than a luxurious plan for black elites and not a poverty-reduction strategy.D Uuyuni waKamati Windhoek

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