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Namibia: Press zooms on national carrier, alleged mismanagement of public funds

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Newspapers in Namibia on Friday zoomed conspiracy to weaken the national carrier – Air Namibia, the President silence on rampant abuse by public funds by government officials and the disbanding of SME Bank, which send 208 employees into the streets.The Namibian said Air Namibia is aggrieved about being kept in the dark over the recent sale of four Embraer ERJ 135 (37-seater) planes leased for its domestic and regional operations – from a HOP Airline, a subsidiary of Air France to a Namibian private aviation company.

The paper said Air Namibia learned this week that the planes it has been leasing since 2011, have been sold to Westair Aviation without its knowledge.

The Patriot described the sale as a well-crafted conspiracy, that allegedly includes cabinet ministers, to deliberately cripple Air Namibia and ensure that it continue leasing airplanes at exorbitant rates, other than procuring its own aircrafts.

The weekly said Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein and Public Enterprise Minister Leon Jooste are complicit to the sale, as they knew beforehand but failed to notify the national airline company.


Windhoek Observer stressed that President Hage Geingob silence on the disappearance of public funds including the N$24 million dubiously paid to Kora Awards founder Enerst Andjovi, astronomical legal fees paid to British lawyers for genocide case (N$47 million) and the disappearance of N$200 million SME Bank that led to its closure this week – sets bad precedent for the southern African country.

As per the report, political analysts have call on President Geingob to break his deafening silence on rampant abuse of public funds, that it is puzzling the he is yet to pronounce himself after promised to fight corruption and ineffectiveness in his government.

State-owned New Era reports that provisional liquidators Bruni & McLaren have officially informed the 208 employees of the SME Bank that their employment contracts cease on July 31. It said their fate was sealed just a day after, on Tuesday, they held a peaceful demonstration during which they opposed the closure of the bank.

SME Bank was closed down after the High Court earlier this week ruled that the bank – which is essentially insolvent – can no longer continue to operate after losing N$200 million invested with foreign entities.

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