Andrew Kathindi

The Leader of the official opposition, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), McHenry Venaani says his party will reject the nomination of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Director General, Paulus Noa, when the matter is brought for debate tomorrow, 28 July.

Prime Minister, Saara Kugongelwa, on Tuesday afternoon confirmed to the National Assembly, which met for a special session after it has been on an indefinite break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that Noa and his second in charge, Erna van der Merwe, have been nominated by President Hage Geingob. “We are going to vehemently argue against the reappointment of Noa. He has been ineffective, he has stated time again that he does not need the job. He refused to investigate the August 26, he recused himself on the oil storage case and a number of other issues,” Venaani told Windhoek Observer.

Earlier this year Noa said that the ACC was not looking into allegations brought against former Defence Minister, Peter Vilho’s conduct at the Defence ministry’s commercial arm, August 26, as a case had already been opened with the police according to media reports.

Vilho was later forced to resign by Geingob following these allegations.

Venaani adds his party has mounting evidence showing Noa campaigning for Swapo, which he says he will present during the debate in Parliament tomorrow. “It is not right to appoint someone who is so linked to a party. He is just being put there for cover-up purposes. It is a historic misjudgement from the President and we are calling on the masses to rally behind us and protest and march against this decision.”

During Parliament’s special session, the PDM leader along with other MPs further took issue with the fact that they had not been provided with the names beforehand.

“The spirit of the law speaks of the need to give due notice to honourable members to take us into confidence on the need of a reappointment because the issue of corruption is one issue we have fundamental disagreements with the ruling party on a number of issues,” Venaani states.

“I shall move that this assembly consider and approve the appointment of Mr Paulus Noa and advocate Erna van der Merwe as Director and Deputy Director of the ACC respectively as nominated by His Excellency the President for another five years,” the Prime Minister says. Noa tells Windhoek Observer that he could not comment further until the process has been finalised.

“The President has just recommended. I don’t have to comment on something which is still pending in Parliament. I’m sure Parliament has not yet finalised their process. For Honourable Venaani, it was in his right to make his comment. From my side, hold on for the time being. After they have finished their process, you may contact me.”

Meanwhile, at the same special session in Parliament, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Lydia Kandetu, informed the chamber that President Geingob has nominated Elsie T Nghikembua to replace Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Chairperson, Notemba Tjipueja.

“On 28 July I shall move that this assembly consider and approve the nomination of Elsie T Nghikembua as the chairperson, Joram K Rukambe and Dr. Emmerentia Leonard as commissioners as nominated by the President.” This comes following public interviews on 10 May after which names were sent to the President for nomination.