NTB defends buying top brass N$60 000 outfits for carnival

Nangolo Mbumba

The state-owned Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) is set to spend N$60 000 on outfits for politicians, such as president Nangolo Mbumba, vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and their spouses, to attend a festival in northern Namibia.

The other beneficiaries of outfits include ministers, the Ondonga traditional king, and their spouses.

They are set to attend the Etotha Carnival this weekend.

The NTB was allegedly forced to cover the event’s advertising budget of around N$1,2 million.

Documents seen by The Namibian say the cost of the clothing was not budgeted for, and that plans have been in place to secure sponsorship invoices to avoid scrutiny during the 2024 audit process.

This comes after some senior NTB executives complained that the event was a waste of money.

NTB spokesperson Flora Quest yesterday confirmed that the board sponsored the president and special delegates, saying it is not unusual for leaders to receive gifts.

“It is not out of the ordinary that corporate gifts are given to our leaders,” she said.

Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah
Omukwaniilwa Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo


This comes at a time that the Office of the Prime Minister’s drought report revealed that almost half of Namibians will be faced with food insecurity between July and September this year.

Meanwhile, the country has reported almost 2 000 cases of malnutrition.

The Namibian has seen correspondence between NTB officials who have advised that invoices for the sponsorship are secured, as this would raise eyebrows in the auditing process.

The tourism board, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, and the Ondonga Traditional Authority are partners in the event.
Quest said the sponsorship involved an agreement between the NTB and the environment ministry.

“The amount spent on advertising this event is within its allocated budget, and not an extraordinary expense.

“The Etotha Carnival was launched in 2023 at Ondangwa. Therefore, the NTB planned to participate in this noble initiative. It only spends what is budgeted for, and any claims suggesting otherwise are misleading and inaccurate,” she said.

Quest said the budget is carefully managed to ensure responsible spending.

Quest said the funds for these expenditures are allocated from NTB’s existing budget, which has been adjusted to accommodate these new priorities.

“As always, we remain committed to maximising the impact of our limited resources and will continue to prioritise strategic investments that drive sustainable growth and development in the tourism sector.

“In light of the current financial constraints, the NTB commits to products within its means,” she said.

“While we believe strategic partnerships and investments can drive economic growth and development, we are committed to ensuring that every allocation is justified and contributes meaningfully to our goals,” she said.

When approached for comment on the purchasing of the Etotha Carnival outfits, presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari said the Presidency is not aware of the sponsorship.

“I wish to inform you that the Presidency does not have any knowledge of any outfits being prepared for the president or the vice president,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Ondonga traditional king, spokesperson Frans Enkali said he was not aware of the sponsorship.

“I was not informed of the sponsorship of the outfit, and l won’t comment on something I do not know,” he said.

According to sources close to the matter, the environment ministry has so far spent about N$3 million on the festival.

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