AR demands zero cost on governmentstake in the green hydrogen

Martin Endjala

The Affirmative Repositioning Movement, through its lawyer Kadhila Amoomo demands that the 24 percent stake to the government in Hyphen Africa (Hyphen Hydrogen Energy (Pty) Ltd) must be granted at no cost.

They are further demanding that Hyphen Africa immediately waive the requirement that the Government of the Republic of Namibia make a financial contribution to obtain a 24 percent stake in the Green Hydrogen Project.The demands are contained in a letter dated 23 June 2023 directed to Hyphen Africa by Amoomo.

Amoomo says that their client alarmed by the fact that the government will be required to fund and thereby make payment to acquire a 24 percent stake in the hydrogen project.

“It appears, as per our client’s understanding, that the Government of the Republic of Namibia will not only be required to make a financial contribution for the 24 percent stake in the hydrogen project but will also be providing natural resources in the form of land, water and other natural resources including the means of production in the form of labour. It is our instruction to remind your office that according to Article 100 of the Namibian Constitution, Land, water and natural resources below and above the surface of the land and in the continental shelf and within the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone of Namibia shall belong to the State if they are not otherwise lawfully owned,” Amoomo said in his letter.

The AR movement has since objected to such requirements, adding that the terms of the agreement are not only unreasonable but also irrational in the context of Article 100 of the Namibian Constitution.

The Affirmative Repositioning Movement’s objection is against the ‘secrecy’ surrounding the negotiation, formulation and finalization of the Green Hydrogen Project agreement between Hyphen Africa and the Government of the Republic of Namibia.

The Movement opines that the public has not been involved in any comprehensive consultation, adding that the parliament of the Republic of Namibia has also been kept in the dark as far as the negotiations, formulations and finalization of this agreement are concerned.

They are therefore demanding that all negotiation proceedings, contractual formulations and agreements be made available to the public or the parliament of the Republic of Namibia, for a comprehensive engagement and consultation and for any representations to be made by any interested party in as far as this project is concerned.

Amoomo has since threatened to drag Hyphen Africa and the Namibian government to court, in the event that Hyphen Africa does not reply by 15 July 2023.

The AR also threatened to unleash and lead widespread social protests against Hyphen Africa and the government should their concerns not be addressed to their satisfaction.

Meanwhile, during the launch of the sixth National Development Plan (NDP6) formulation process last week, the National Planning Commission’s Director General, Obert Kandjoze refuted allegations that the government irresponsibly went out to acquire a loan for its equity, saying that there hasn’t been any loan agreement signed by him, or the Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprise with the Dutch government.

Kandjoze denounced this saying that there is no truth in this, and a grant is what it is.

“I do not understand how a grant can suddenly become a loan overnight,” he said.

Kandjoze emphasized that there is no rejection on the side of the government in taking up the 24 percent and further consultations on the much-anticipated Green Hydrogen are said to commence as of next Month as per Cabinet directive.

The visits are spearheaded by NPC and Governors across all 14 regions, with //Karas Region being the first in line, to sensitise traditional leaders and the community on the prospects of the hydrogen projects in the country.

Questions sent to Kandjoze on the letter by Amoomo remained unanswered.

Weeks ago, Tjekero Tweya, who is the Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on natural resources, said in the National Assembly that his committee, which oversees the management of natural resources is largely in the dark about green hydrogen because the N$192 billion deal falls under State House instead of the ministry of mines and energy, over which the committee has oversight.

He delved into the green hydrogen conversation after Landless People’s Movement (LPM) deputy leader Henny Seibeb alleged that the deal was shrouded in secrecy.

Tweya was instantly hushed by Sophia Shaningwa, the ruling party’s Secretary General who said “I just rise to make a point of order to my very own member of the house and I am sorry to do so.

You are deeply mentioning the Office of the President and State House and I am afraid that you are getting too much and I want you to end there and then we consult further,” Shaningwa told Tweya.

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