THE Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has stated that in the interests of transparency, the Government Institutes Pension Fund (GIPF) should release the full details of its Development Capital Portfolio (DCP) in which companies received funds, as ell as which companies paid back and where the money was lost.
This comes fresh off the heels of Prosecutor General, Martha Imalwa’s statement yesterday that a total of N$661 million has been lost while the GIPF in the past claimed that only N$70 million was squandered by a handful of companies and that overall the DCP made a return of N$148m.
The IPPR, however, stated that details have been lacking and the public, including GIPF members, deserve an explanation.
Reports that GIPF had recklessly invested over N$600 million in unlisted entities first emerged in 2005.
A police investigation only started in 2012.
The IPPR further lamented that failure to take earlier action is one of the main reasons why evidence is said to be missing and witnesses not available – and therefore yesterday’s announcement that criminal charges are only being pursued in one case out of 20 companies investigated.
IPPR noted that Namfisa, as the oversight body, should also explain its role in the DCP saga and release the report of its investigation undertaken after the first reports of GIPF’s negligent in handling of pensioners’ funds emerged.
As previously reported, the GIPF trustees themselves approved the DCP funding for businesses for the period the DCP existed (roughly 1995 to 2005). Sanlam Investment Management was also involved in giving advice.
“Why then has no one at GIPF ever been held to account, particularly the trustees who made these decisions? It was reported that there were blatant conflicts of interest, with trustees lobbying for funds to be given to companies they were involved in. No doubt we will be told that this is all now water under the bridge and that the amount lost is but a drop in the ocean when compared with the overall value of GIPF’s assets (now N$120 billion). But in the year of accountability, surely there has to be a reckoning? Those who handled pensioners’ funds in a reckless and negligent manner must be held to account,” the IPPR said.