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GIPF to consult PG on lost money

Namibia: August 2019

THE Government Institutions Pension Fund has said its chief executive officer, David Nuyoma, will meet the prosecutor general to understand how her office concluded that some N$600 million in pensioners' money that the pension fund lent to start-up businesses between 1995 and 2005 was lost and would not be recovered.

"Since the matter is no longer sub judice, the chief executive officer will engage the Office of the Prosecutor General in order to better understand the decision taken," the fund said in a statement issued on Thursday. 

It referred to a decision, announced by prosecutor general Martha Imalwa on Wednesday, not to institute a prosecution in respect of 18 out of 20 entities investigated in connection with the alleged embezzlement of the money the pension fund had lent to or invested in businesses through its Development Capital Portfolio (DCP).

The Namibian reported this week that Imalwa said millions of Namibia dollars supposedly invested by the fund could not be traced and prosecutions could not be carried out because of lost documents, forgetful witnesses and a lack of evidence. It is unclear what documents were lost, and what they relate to.

The fund, however, said the DCP investments yielded a profit, having earned the fund dividends and interest, with some loans repaid too. According to the fund it had realised a total profit of N$458 million from its DCP investments by March this year. The total value of investment losses during the operation of the DCP from 1995 to 2005 was N$386 million, and the value of DCP assets still owned by the GIPF stood at N$988 million in March, the fund also stated.

Also reacting to Imalwa's announcement, the chairperson of the Namibian Women Lawyers Association, Ruth Herunga, in a statement on Friday encouraged the GIPF to inform Namibians about the actual impact the loss of money invested through the DCP has had on the fund's financial position and its members.

Herunga also said the association reserved its members' rights in respect of possible private prosecutions that could be carried out with regard to the loss of money invested by the GIPF.

The full statement issued by the GIPF is available on its website.