WINDHOEK, 30 APR – Swapo Secretary-General (SG) Sophia Shaningwa has refuted claims that she handpicked a company co-owned by her brother, Ignatius Shaningwa, to construct the party’s offices in Mariental.
Shaningwa also slammed acting chairperson of Kalahari Holdings, Christian Maketo, for bringing her name and integrity into disrepute.
A media conference on Monday initially aimed at clarifying recent reports that linked the SG to the tender award process in which Omatende Trading Close Corporation was selected to construct the office, turned into a war of words between Shaningwa and Maketo.
“I have a question to you nonsense. Are you saying that my brother should not get any employment in the Republic of Namibia?” Shaningwa asked a journalist.
“If my brother is not going to tender and is not going to get any work in the republic, is he coming to eat from your house?” she wanted to know.
Shaningwa is implicated in playing a role which saw her brother’s company getting the tender to build the office for N.dollars 7 million.
The company was, however, blocked by Kalahari Holdings’ Board led by Maketo from getting the tender, recent media reports suggested.
Shaningwa said like other politicians whose children have farms, fishing quotas and land, her brother equally had the right to participate in Swapo tenders or employment opportunities in Namibia.
She vowed to deal with anyone who threatened her integrity, which she built and protected for over two decades.
“You have never heard that Sophia Shaningwa has taken any single penny from the coffers of the government. That should be very clear and you have to stop messing with my name,” she vented.
However, Shaningwa distanced herself from the selection process and denied knowing those involved in the process.
“I didn’t identify this project,” said the SG.
When asked to clarify why she labelled a journalist “nonsense”, she retorted: “Do you think that when you have your rights, you must come and pee on my rights?”
Shaningwa then took on Maketo, demanding that he explain publicly why he came to her residence at around 20h00 on Saturday, “kneeling and crying for an apology”.
“I want you to tell the public why did you come to my house to apologise? You apologised for which damage. Why did you come to my house?” she asked, slamming her hand on the table.
In his response, Makoto said that was a private conversation that he would not respond to in his official capacity.
“Don’t play with me. Don’t talk nonsense. I want you to tell the public. Why did you come to my house and apologise,” interjected Shaningwa.
Maketo, however, denied Shaningwa’s involvement in Kalahari Holdings’ tendering process, maintaining that the board was not submissive to the “elite” in the party.
“Your ties to the elite will not help,” he said.
Kalahari Holdings is 100 per cent owned by Swapo.