NamPower N$70m bonus questioned

Simson Haulofu
…Nandi-Ndaitwah slammed for using electricity to gain power

Concerned citizens have written to minister of mines and energy Tom Alweendo and minister of finance Iipumbu Shiimi, accusing NamPower of paying its management and employees over N$70 million in bonuses.

NamPower board chairperson Ester Kali yesterday referred all questions to the company’s management, saying: “I only joined in April and have not signed off any bonuses.”

NamPower managing director Simson Haulofu did not respond to text messages sent to him yesterday, while his phone went unanswered.

Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah


Meanwhile, Swapo presidential candidate Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah is under fire for allegedly interfering in the operations of the Electricity Control Board (ECB) after a letter she penned resulted in the reversal of the decision made last week to raise bulk power tariffs by 8%.

“Before making such a decision, honourable minister, we need to consider the circumstances such as the winter season we are in, where the need for electricity is greater than other seasons and more-so, considering that we are four months to the national elections.

“We are really working against ourselves,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said in the letter to Alweendo, which was leaked and verified by a source.

Political analysts feel the letter is tantamount to interference in the operations of state institutions by politicians. Following a public outcry over the ECB’s announcement of an 8% electricity tariff increase last week, the government announced that it would make available N$365 million to subsidise electricity distribution and generation costs as a way of delaying the tariff implementation until June next year.

However, this is being seen as electioneering and abuse of power by Nandi-Ndaitwah.


Political analyst Rui Tyitende says this borders on the gross abuse of office.

“In the court of public opinion, it is now clear that Nandi-Ndaitwah is just like all the other politicians who view the electorate as mere voting cows that need to be exploited when needed.

He further questioned whether the N$365 million was budgeted for.

Political analyst Henning Melber says this is a clear case of a politically motivated interference due to electioneering.

“While the hike is indeed a reason for concern, it requires a more principled policy intervention by the government. An instruction from the deputy president as the party’s presidential candidate for the November elections bypasses proper consultation in the Cabinet, and seems a spontaneous reaction to the newspaper articles triggering the letter referring to it,” he says.

Melber says while this is to the benefit of consumers, it does not solve the structural problems, nor the lack of good governance, which would supposedly have prevented such a tariff hike.

“The phrase ‘considering that we are four months to the national elections, we are really working against ourselves’ is a clear revelation of the ultimate motive. The government should have done better,” he says.

Rui Tyitende
Henning Melber

Meanwhile, political analyst Johan Coetzee says it is an interesting development, considering the fact that Nandi-Ndaitwah also promised to increase the pension grant from N$1 600 to N$3 000 if elected into office.

He says while Nandi-Ndaitwah seems concerned about the people of Namibia in terms of poverty, the decision to halt the tariff increase was still made by an individual.

Coetzee says this is a political move, because it was a short letter without mentioning any inflation or the inefficiencies in the system of various regional distributors.

“I find this very interesting during an election year. It is a unilateral decision, it seems to me, without providing enough evidence or motivation why it should have been increased maybe with 3% or 5%, but no increase at all,” he says.


Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian Hidipo Hamata says Nandi-Ndaitwah’s interference has significant implications.

“This situation exemplifies how the government has continuously deceived the citizens. Imagine, instructing the minister to halt electricity tariff increases merely because there are only four months left until the elections,” he says.

Independent Patriots for Change spokesperson Immanuel Nashinge says while the relief is appreciated, it is very dangerous for the vice president to directly dictate to a minister.

He says it is evident Nandi-Ndaitwah’s involvement is purely based on electioneering.

“We advocate democratic institutions to function independently of the state, and to be able to make determinations, considering the economic climate and the well-being of the citizens,” Nashinge says.

Robert Kahimise


ECB chief executive Robert Kahimise yesterday denied that the cancellation of the tariff increase was politically motivated.
He said no such measures were taken during past elections.

He said the board cannot predict what the tariff situation would look like beyond the end of June next year.

“We continue to model the movements in our energy mix, the impact of imports and also new power stations and generation that come on board.

“We look at what is the overall impact of that mix on electricity prices for Namibians. So after 2025, we continue with the same pricing methodology,” Kahimise said.

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