BEARERS of public office, especially ministers heading different departments of the Namibian Government, were asked to declare their assets to promote transparency in the country.
President Hage Geingob, during his State of the Nation address earlier this year, again requested public office bearers to declare their assets to the public.
The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reforms, Calle Schlettwein has thrown open the books to his assets and declared them publicly.
It is the second time that the minister has done so after almost 40 years in public service.
In his first declaration in 2016, the minister declared assets worth N$7.78 million.
The second audit of his assets indicated that his worth has grown to more than N$15 million.
Most of Schlettwein’s wealth is contained in his personal property portfolio, which consists of two houses in Windhoek and Swakopmund.
The increase in his personal wealth, he said, is a result of investments that grew along with the annual increase of property in Namibia.
According to an official statement issued by the minister, his properties in Swakopmund are worth N$923 880, while his Klein Windhoek property is worth a little over N$9.6 million, compared to a rough valuation of N$3.5 million when he last declared his personal worth in 2016.
He said in the statement that the value of his property in Windhoek has increased following renovations to the residence.
“I had our family residence renovated and extended with a stand-alone flat on the same property. This asset was valued by the bank and disclosed at the revalued balance in the declaration with a combined asset value of N$9.650 million (N$7.550 million for the main house and N$2.1 million for the flat),” he said.
“In the previous asset declaration, this was listed at N$3.538 million, therefore representing an increase of about N$6.1 million. I invested approximately N$3.5 million on the residence, thus the net increase in the asset declaration amounted to N$2.6 million,” he said.
According to Schlettwein’s statement, the insured value of the household goods increased by N$500 000, which he said was largely attributable to inflation.
“I have included in this asset declaration the withdrawal benefit of the Political Office Bearer’s Pension valued currently at N$2.575 million, which was not covered in the declaration of 2016. In addition to this, I have been saving and re-investing a part of my personal salary, which results in the remaining increase in my net assets. The renovations and extension of my house were financed by increasing the mortgage bond on the property from N$119 964 in 2016 to N$1.8 million. Currently, the bond balance is N$1 001 852,” said Schlettwein.
He further declared that two endowment policies held with Sanlam matured after the 2016 declaration and said that he used the proceeds to partly fund renovations at his Windhoek home.
“The total termination value was N$526 125. Thirdly, the cash investment held in an FNB Flexi Fixed Deposit Account of N$519 764 was liquidated and used to pay for construction cost. The remainder of the N$660 000 construction cost was paid from my personal salary and monthly GIPF pension benefits,” he said.
Schlettwein also declared six of his personal vehicles with a combined value of N$846 100 as part of his assets.