Government urged to exercise caution with public funds…oppositions advise prudence in oil deals

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

Member of Parliament, Joseph Kauandenge, has cautioned the government against engaging with individuals possessing dubious backgrounds, especially when dealing with taxpayers’ money.

The Secretary General of the National Unity Democratic Organisation, voiced these concerns this week in an interview with this publication, responding to media reports.

Reports suggest that the Ministry of Mines and Energy has procured oil advice from Cameroonian lawyer Njock Ayuk Eyong, allegedly convicted of fraud in the United States of America.

Acting Executive Director of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Bryan Eiseb, reportedly confirmed correspondence with Ayuk for legal advice and support in drafting and reviewing legal documents, contracts, and agreements related to oil operations for the ministry and the Namibian government.

This interaction is perceived as a circumvention of the Office of the Attorney General, a move that Ayuk has vehemently denied. Kauandenge opines that such engagements by government officials are reckless, citing the loss of Kora money some years prior.

“The loss of millions to Kora should serve as a yardstick, illustrating that despite raised concerns and red flags, the Ministry of Environment still proceeded with a 23 million transfer to Kora awards, a loss we had to bear. The President of Namibia and the government should avoid liaisons with unscrupulous entities while handling public funds,” remarked Kauandenge.

Kauandenge finds the government’s continued association with the Cameroonian lawyer illogical, particularly after warnings about his controversial past. “The government should immediately sever any business ties with this individual. If this deal fails, those officials must be held personally accountable,” emphasized Kauandenge.

Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) leader, Panduleni Itula, expressed concerns over the import of foreign expertise, deeming it insulting to indigenous experts and a potential conduit for corruption. “We sound a warning to those entering into contracts with corrupt entities; such agreements will be scrutinized by the IPC-led Government of National Unity of the Second Republic,” declared Itula.

Itula added that his party’s zero-tolerance stance on corruption will be rigorously implemented, and violators will face legal repercussions. Landless Peoples Movement Spokesperson, Lifalaza Simataa, stressed the need for transparency in handling oil deals and expressed concerns over the exclusion of the Attorney General.

“The documents, laws, and advice they are procuring should be reviewed by internal mechanisms to ensure compliance with our regulations and democracy,” concluded Simataa.

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