IPC says funding letter from British Parliament fake


The Independent Patriotic for Change (IPC) national press secretary, Immanuel Nashinge, has rubbished a letter about the party getting money from the British government. The letter surfaced on social media with the letterhead of the International Development Committee from a British member of Parliament, Sarah Champion.

According to the letter, IPC received a sum of £750,000 (about N$17,6m), which was transferred to the party’s bank account at First National Bank of Namibia.  The letter surfaced after the IPC bought 101 white GWM bakkies for its campaign.
In April, the IPC chief patriot, Dr Panduleni Itula, said the party would never disclose the names of those who supported it in any form. Dr Itula also said Namibians are very well aware that when political parties, such as the Congress of Democrats and Rally for Democracy and Progress, were funded by individuals in the past, those individuals were victimised.

He told The Namibian that some no longer received tenders, and others had their economic throats cut once their identities were known and made public through the media to the powers that be.

“We shall never risk the livelihood of our associates albeit under the guise of transparency save where the law so compels us to do,” he told the publication. According to Nashinge, the letter titled “Bolstering Support for IPC In the Republic of Namibia”, written on 23 May 2024, is fake. 

Nashinge said the letter was a political smear campaign from the ruling party. “I have seen the letter. It is fake news, and it does not make sense. Even the language does not make sense. It does have a proper letterhead. The British Parliament have proper letterheads,” said Nashinge.  The letter reads: “I am writing to underscore the strategic importance of our continued support for the Independent Patriots for Change in the Republic of Namibia under the leadership of Dr Panduleni Itula. 

“As you are aware, we have committed significant financial resources to bolster IPC’s efforts in the upcoming elections. Specifically, a sum of £750,000 has been transferred to the party’s bank account at First National Bank of Namibia. This funding is crucial to ensuring that IPC can mount a robust campaign against the incumbent regime.”

“In Addition to the financial support, we have provided IPC with a convey of campaign vehicles to facilitate their outreach and mobilisation efforts across the country. This logistical support is vital for their on-ground campaign activities and will enable them to reach a broader segment of the Namibian populace,” it read.  

During recent discussions with IPC leadership, their chairman Brian Black and Vice President Trevino Forbes, the UK government has agreed to offer political assistance in their campaign to human rights groups in Namibia. This aligns with our broader commitment to promoting human rights globally and represents a significant step forward in a region where rights such as those afforded to LGBTQI communities are often under threat from extremist elements in the ruling Swapo Party and leftist parties such as the NEFF.” 

Nashinge questioned why the letter addressed IPC Vice President Trevino Forbes when it could have addressed the party’s press secretary.  “This is just propaganda from SWAPO. The letter is addressed to who?  Why should they address the letter to Trevino Forbes and to Brian Black?” “We have a national press secretary, why should they address the letter to Trevino Forbes and to Brian Black,” said Nashinge. 

The letter read: “Furthermore, I must highlight the engagement between prominent business leaders in the petroleum industry and IPC chairman Mr Brian Black. These leaders have received assurances of favourable conditions and positioning in Namibia’s emerging oil economy, contingent upon IPC’s success in the elections.  This potential for economic partnership is aritical our continued support. “Given the above, I urge you to reinforce our commitment to IPC and ensure that all necessary measures are taken to support their efforts. “Our involvement is not only an investment in Namibia’s democratic future but also a strategic move to secure our interests in the region.” 

Nashinge further ridiculed the letter’s authenticity, claiming that the British couldn’t access petroleum resources. “The British don’t have oil. Maybe, if it was Qatari or Portuguese, then it would make sense. They are the ones with oil. We don’t even bank with FNB,” stressed Nashinge.

When asked about the letter, IPPR researcher Frederico Links said that it is tough to see whether the letter is authentic or fake and that if it was fake, then it was a good attempt by the creator.  “If it is fake, then it is a good. It paints IPC as a puppet imperialist emblematist party receiving foreign funds. It touches on many sensitive issues like the issue of foreign funding, the issue of where the funds for vehicles purchased came from and the LGBTQI issue. It all ties up very nicely together,” said Links. According to Links, if the letter is fake, it was probably created through Artificial Intelligence (AI). “If it is fake, AI is generated to remove all the ‘Namlish’.

He further said that if the letter is not genuine, it does not have a tangible impact on the concerted members of IPC. “You expect pollical partial parties to go low by using smear campaigns, which is part of elections.  “None of the IPC members would likely go back to Swapo because of this letter. It actually solidifies their positions in the party.”  “It could backfire on the ruling party if the electorate sees it as a smear campaign, where they could feel they are not address the issues of the electorate and that it is not a mature way of campaigning, if it is Swapo that is behind,” he said.