GIPF cold case must be pursued
IT’S been more than a decade since N$660 million belonging to the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) went missing and as Confidente unearthed recently, this cold case is getting colder.
To imagine that after so long, no evidence has been obtained and the likelihood of having no one ever accounting for over half a billion lost only exposes our country’s lack of adequate systems to prosecute crime.
The Namibian Police is on record for having hired a South African company, Nexus Forensic Services, six years ago to conduct the investigations, yet today the Prosecutor General, Martha Imalwa has waved the case away for its acute lack of substance.
How loans granted from GIPF’s Development Capital Portfolio (DCP) to several local companies -some of which had little or no business mileage, while others suspiciously went bankrupt after receiving loans -does not attract any punishment for those that approved such loans remains a mystery.
When we look back, so much work has been invested in this case but there seems to be a veil of protection to the perpetrators of this crime. Nearly a decade ago, a BDO audit, ordered by the Auditor General, concluded that some funds invested by [the] GIPF were not in accordance with generally accepted business principles regarding security.
Furthermore, the audit extended that some directors and shareholders of entities which received the funds did not conduct themselves in accordance with generally accepted business principles.
Lest we forget, BDO findings confirmed those of the original forensic audit the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) launched into the DCP in 2006. The Namfisa audit also recommended that individuals who signed sureties in their personal capacities should be forced to repay the money and to date, nothing has happened in that view.
The only significant occurrence was a report that seven companies implicated in the saga were found not guilty of any wrongdoing and cleared.
As a publication, we have always maintained that corruption has never done this country any good, and in asserting this long held view we reiterate that it must be uprooted with the tenacity it deserves and as such, no case must run cold.
In order to give meaning and effect to this recommendation, we strongly believe that the GIPF case, as a matter of priority, be re-prioritised in view of not giving comfort to the corrupt that they can actually steal half a billion and get away with it in a country with functional laws.
It is becoming obvious that there is more to this case and a possible deliberate attempt to see the case run cold. If this is allowed to prevail, it will lead the corruption fight astray and create a platform for criminals to thrive under the guise of cold cases.