MINISTER of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform Calle Schlettwein is expected to explain how his ministry approved an agreement to purchase two farms from a company owned by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and her husband for more N $ 14 million – an amount that would have been grossly inflated.
Last year, the Schlettwein ministry bought two farms in the Otjozondjupa region from a company owned by the Prime Minister and her husband, Onesmus Tobias Amadhila.
The properties in question – Farm Goab # 760 and Farm Duwib # 1149 – are registered under a company called Seize The Moment Investment Fifty Six Corporation.
Documents seen by The Namibian show that the company purchased the two farms for around N $ 5.5 million in 2011.
The Duwib farm, which measures 7,485 hectares, was valued at N $ 3.8 million when the company acquired it in 2011, the documents say.
The company sold the two farms to the government last year for more than N $ 14 million, making a profit of around N $ 10 million from the transaction.
Before being sold to the government, the Duwib farm was divided into two parts.
The first part, which measures approximately 2,400 hectares, remained the property of the Amadhilas, while the second, which measures approximately 5,000 hectares, was sold to the government for NNJ $ 8.6 million.
Farm Goab was purchased from the same company for around N $ 5.8 million, bringing the total amount paid for the two farms to over N $ 14 million.
The first part of the Duwib farm was then used to secure two loan facilities, valued at a combined amount of about N $ 6.3 million, from the Agricultural Bank of Namibia in December last year.
This was done a few months after the company struck a N $ 14 million deal with the government for the sale of the two farms.
Landless Peoples Movement (LPM) parliamentarian Henny Seibeb last week asked Schlettwein to explain how the government allegedly overpaid the prime minister for the two farms.
Seibeb claimed that the prime minister and her husband received favors from the government as part of the deal.
He alleged that the proceeds from the sales of the two farms were used to service loans of approximately N $ 15 million acquired by the Amadhila family from commercial banks.
“It appears that the debtors were unable to pay the amounts and, as alleged, forced the ministry to buy the Duwib farm and another undisclosed farm (Farm Goab) at high prices for the sole purpose of repay the main N $ 15 million debt to commercial enterprises. banks, ”Seibeb said.
He asked Schlettwein to explain the allegations that Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and her husband were also assigned a resettlement farm, which the family also registered with their company.
This, Seibeb said, was illegal “under the country’s resettlement laws and policies.”
He further pointed out that it was illegal for the Amadhila family to have obtained a Namibian $ 6.3 million loan from Agribank using a resettlement farm.
According to him, the Prime Minister is only entitled to a loan of N $ 200,000 from Agribank in accordance with the resettlement policy.
“It appears that the Crown land was used as collateral for the loan application [at commercial banks], however, the loan funds were not used for improving the farm, but were instead used for building houses in the north of the country, ”Seibeb said.
Agriculture ministry spokesperson Jona Musheko said Schlettwein would explain the deal to the National Assembly this week.
Yesterday, the prime minister did not respond to requests for comment.
She was, however, quoted by Namibian Sun last month as saying the farms her company sold were not overpriced.
The Prime Minister in this report also denied any wrongdoing.
“There appears to be a deliberate misrepresentation of information for reasons that are only known to those who do,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.