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Central bank criticised for clearing !Gawaxab

Written by on May 29, 2024

… !Gawaxab honours N$1 million fine imposed last month

ActivistT and Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) commissar Michael Amushelelo has criticised the decision by the Bank of Namibia board to clear governor Johannes !Gawaxab of any wrongdoing.

This comes after it was revealed last month that !Gawaxab allegedly misled the Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC) by failing to declare that he sold some of his businesses to relatives before taking up his position at the bank.
!Gawaxab and his business associates Ismael Gei-Khoibeb and Gamma Investments were fined N$1 million for the transgression.

The NaCC yesterday confirmed that the fine has been paid.

The board in a statement on Friday said !Gawaxab did not transgress the Bank of Namibia Act and “that there are at present, no obvious legal implications for the bank concerning the governor’s conduct”.

Amushelelo, who was threatened with a lawsuit by !Gawaxab for his social media statements regarding !Gawaxab’s alleged transgression, said he is not surprised that the board stood by !Gawaxab.

Michael Amushelelo

Amushelelo was referring to a February article by The Namibian in which !Gawaxab revealed that Geingob, on his sickbed, signed for the appointment of the new BoN board members.

Meshack Tjirongo, advocate Eliaser Nekwaya and Pieter Kruger were appointed as non-executive members of the bank’s board of directors, while Ehrenfried Meroro was reappointed, effective from 1 February. Amushelelo labelled Namibia as a state whose government officials are primarily concerned with personal gain and wealth.

“Sadly, in this country no matter how blatant corruption is, the corrupt simply continue doing as they wish and please. We are living in a kleptocracy,” Amushelelo said.

Nico Smit

Last month, Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian Nico Smit added his voice to those calling for !Gawaxab’s resignation.

“I can tell you, this issue of people selling their businesses without the approval of the NaCC is very widespread in the country. It just needs journalists to investigate,” he said.

However, the BoN defended !Gawaxab after the board convened a special meeting to assess the matter and its implications.

//Gowases yesterday said the out-of-court settlement negotiations which resulted in the agreement between the NaCC and !Gawaxab are not impacted by the determination of the board of the central bank.

She said the NaCC’s investigation was done independently, pursuant to the Competition Act No.2 of 2003, while the consideration by the BoN concerns the operations of the central bank.

“The terms of the agreement concluded between the commission and the respondents remain extant, and the commission can confirm the respondents have thus far complied with the agreement,” //Gowases said.

The post Central bank criticised for clearing !Gawaxab appeared first on The Namibian.

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