Amupanda dumps FIMA forum

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Amupanda dumps FIMA forum
Amupanda dumps FIMA forum

Africa-Press – Namibia. Edward Mumbuu

Affirmative Repositioning leader and land activist Job Amupanda has withdrawn from the Financial Institutions and Market Act technical committee, saying his appointing authority, finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi has been under duress since his decision to include him.

Amupanda said this through a statement issued yesterday afternoon. Shiimi appointed Amupanda to the committee on 21 July. But just under two weeks later, he pulled out. In the eyes of the leftist leader, Shiimi has not been at ease since appointing the very man who exposed how retirement funds seemingly connived with State institutions to cement their grip on employees’ pensions.

Largely-criticised draft regulations by the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) propose a 75% pension preservation.

Through the proposal, members of retirement funds will be required to preserve at least three-quarters of their minimum individual reserve (fund credit) until the age of 55.

The regulations were supposed to come into force on 1 October 2022. They have since been put on ice, pending stakeholder consultations.

The committee from which Amupanda withdrew is one such forum. The Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) nominated him to the committee.

“It would seem that despite signing the 21 July 2022 letter, you were not at ease. It is as if you had a gun on your head. It is for this reason that you ostensibly went to involve yourself in futile mobilisation efforts, including calling Tucna leaders to change my nomination because you are under attack.”

“Understandably, Mr (Mahongora) Kavihuha is being pressured by stooges in contact with you and under your caprice,” Amupanda said.

He then dropped the bombshell. “To make it easy for you, to indeed allow you to breath, in order to achieve the objectives you are seeking with phone calls, I have resolved to withdraw myself from your technical committee. You can now relax and go ahead with more important national duties, such as finding money for government workers who are going on strike,” Amupanda stated.

Shiimi’s phone went unanswered. He also did not respond to text messages left on his phone.

Meanwhile, Tucna’s Kavihuha said it is Amupanda’s right to withdraw from the committee.

The unionist downplayed assertions that they were being pressurised to remove the activist.

According to him, Amupanda and human rights lawyer John Nakuta were both selected on the same principle, which has not changed.

“We approached him in his capacity as an academic, a political scientist with a background on socio-economic issues. We approached Nakuta as a human rights lawyer in order to beef up our delegates to the technical committee,” he added.

If there was any pressure on Tucna, it was miniscule, as it never reached his doorsteps.

Kavihuha, however, acknowledged that a debate ensued after Amupanda’s inclusion among Tucna’s top brass.

“If there was a debate [on Amupanda’s inclusion], that is what characterises Tucna as an organisation, and we have been living that. There will always be people who are pro and against,” said Kavihuha.

But the fight is far from over. “Let’s fight this FIMA thing,” he noted. Other committee members are Lovisa Indongo-Namandje of the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority as chairperson, Erwin Naimhwaka of the Bank of Namibia, Justus Mwafongwe of the finance ministry, Vonkie Olivier of the University of Namibia, and Kavihuha and Nakuta.

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