The rise and rise of crony capitalism

17 April 2015

The sheer arrogance displayed by the Himarwa family this week after it emerged that the former Hardap region Governor Katrina Hanse-Himarwa’s son and a relative had benefited from the Government resettlement programme showed the moral bankruptcy of some of our politicians.

The allocation of farming units to Denzil Tryane Hanse and Willem Hanse stinks to high heaven.

The subsequent response by the education minister and the unnecessary interference by her husband is typical behaviour of elites who refuse to be accountable for their actions.

Hanse-Himarwa’s husband Ghenno Himarwa shot himself in the foot by commenting publicly on an issue he is not involved in.

By saying that Theresia Konjore used her husband’s documents to apply for a farming unit, it shows that the former governor’s husband had access to classified government information.

This clearly showed that the Himarwa family discussed the issue at home and used the former governor’s position to gain advantage over other applicants.

While the minister suggested that she was not in the country when the applications of her son and relative were discussed, the refusal by the governor’s office to hand over minutes of the meeting in which the applications were discussed leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

If the applications were above board as the minister led the nation to believe, then it should not be difficult to produce minutes of the said meeting.

While Denzil and Willem are within their rights as Namibian citizens to apply for land for farming purposes, the fact that two people related to the former governor who was the chairperson of the regional resettlement committee were given land while long time applicants for the same land did not get anything raises eyebrows.

Again allegations that Hanse-Himarwa interfered with the re-appointment of the region’s Chief Regional Officer when she is no longer the governor, also shows you the extent to which she had become a semi-god in the region.

It has sort of become the norm in this country for the politically connected to become a law unto themselves.

Despite the media’s efforts in exposing questionable tenders and malpractice by high ranking government officials, unfortunately nothing has happened while the ordinary citizen continue to wallow in poverty.

We have seen the elites get away with murder on several occasions. From the government tenders or contracts even without the requisite experience to the Chinese Scholarships, the privileged in our society continue to benefit at the expense of the masses.

The new Geingob administration needs to put an end to this brazen practice.

We yearn for a society in which talent and hard work is rewarded not this crony capitalism that we have seen thriving in recent years.



The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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