September 10, 2010

Civil Society, labour want answers on Pension Fund Money

Civil society has joined the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) in calling for a presidential inquiry into the lost millions of the Government Institutions Pensions Fund (GIPF) through its Development Capital Portfolio (DCP). "It is now time for Government to do its part by not only getting to the root of the cause, but to ensure accountability of GIPF management, the board of trustees as well as those who are said to have benefitted through the DCP," Michael Gaweseb, Chairman of the Economic and Social Justice Sector of the Namibian Non-governmental Organisations' Forum (Nangof) Trust said.

In a statement, Gaweseb said Nangof's economic and social justice desk will "directly communicate with the Head of State in this regard". He added that they were keen to "cooperate with interested stakeholders in securing satisfactory action by the Namibian government, by taking whatever democratically acceptable action". Government has a "social and moral obligation to publicly investigate and institute punitive measures against culprits without delay in order to prevent similar activities in future", Gaweseb said.

Before, the NUNW congress had resolved that all those responsible for DCP losses be brought to book. The congress also resolved that the entire management and the board of trustees of the GIPF be suspended and that the President launch an inquiry. A further resolution was that the workers' lost money must be recovered "from those concerned and that they must be held to account in their individual and collective capacities". The congress said they were disappointed by the fact that "Government has to date not done anything to recover the workers' monies despite having received the Namfisa reports some years ago".

The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) launched an independent investigation into the DCP. Based on this, the watchdog in 2007 recommended to Prime Minister Nahas Angula and Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, that a presidential inquiry be launched and that the GIPF management and board of trustees be fired. (The Namibian)

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