President Hage Geingob became the first Namibian statesman to declare his wealth, when he, together with the First Lady Geingos, yesterday declared their personal assets and wealth saying their combined estimated net worth is between N$95 million and N$111 million.
The President’s wealth includes cash and investments, properties, livestock as well as a N$2-million collection of arts, gold, gems, jewellery and furniture. The President vowed that Cabinet members as well as permanent secretaries are expected to follow suit.
Geingob, in his voluntary financial disclosure report availed to the media yesterday, lists a total of N$14.8 million in several interest-bearing accounts with local banks and one in the USA, a total of N$10.83 million in investment and money market accounts with Allan Gray and Pointbreak Wealth Management, and properties estimated at between N$8 million and N$10 million registered through a family trust called Dr Hage Geingob Family Trust Assets.
The properties are his farm near Tsumeb area as well as his residential house on the outskirts of Windhoek and a property in Henties Bay. His livestock consists of 150 head of cattle estimated at N$664 000.
The First Lady Geingos, a businesswoman, said her net worth is between N$45 million and N$60 million and presented a list of companies in which she holds direct shareholding as well as those in which she is resigning as a director. Geingos is a founding member and chairperson of EBank Limited and its holding company EBank Holdings, a founding member and executive director of Pointbreak Equity and Pointbreak Property Unit Trust, as well as of holding companies Pointbreak Group Holdings and Pointbreak Namibia Holdings.
Pointbreak is the owner/asset manager of Stimulus Investments, and owns 77.5 percent of EBank, with Geingos owning an additional direct equity shareholding in EBank.
She is also a founding member and executive director of Stimulus Private Equity and founding member and managing director of Stimulus Investment Limited, the only local private equity investor listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX).
As of March 19, Stimulus Investment Limited market capitalisation on NSX was valued at N$454.84 million.
Stimulus, which was established by Pointbreak, manages an investment portfolio worth about N$381 million in asset management, which includes Cymot, Plastic Packaging, Namibia Media Holdings, Nashua, Joe’s Beerhouse Properties and Walvis Bay Stevedoring.
Yesterday, Geingos said she has resigned as director in some of those companies, and in the process of resigning from those she is still a director.
The constitution does not oblige Geingob to declare his personal wealth, but due to rampant corruption in the country, he said the idea of declaring his assets “is not one I latched onto recently, but it is an idea that I have carried with me for several decades”.
Geingob explained that he amassed his wealth through savings when he first started working for a market related salary at the United Nations Secretariat in 1972, throughout, to his appointment as the head of the United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) in Lusaka for 14 years. After that he became a Prime Minister of Namibia and eventually worked for two years at the World Bank, at management level.
Geingob, who today marks two months in office as President, also declared that he owns HG Consultancy valued at N$10 million.
Geingob owes three financial institutions over N$6.6 million accrued through loans and a credit card.
Before announcing his net worth, Geingob preceded the announcement by narrating some hardship tales he had to endure throughout his life that include sleeping in the open in Botswana for almost two years with a single blanket.
Touted as one of the wealthiest women in the country, the First Lady might not have as much cash as her husband, but her asset base is a jaw-dropping one, so much that Geingob conceded financial defeat when he said: “Her assets are a little bit more than mine, but that is alright.”
Geingos’ extended business web ranges from uranium exploration, retail, property, fishing, manufacturing as well as the media industry. She owns a house in the affluent Klein Windhoek suburb valued at N$7.5 million.
Her liabilities, of which a huge chunk is as a result of a home loan taken out with First National Bank, totals about N$3.9 million.
Following yesterday’s announcement, Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Paulus Noa lauded Geingob for setting a “good example” and at the same time reiterated the need for an asset declaration law that will compel politicians and all those heading state-funded companies to declare their wealth.
“He has set a good example for politicians and managers to emulate. The President has shown that we can live in a society driven by honesty and transparency. This move has really raised Namibia’s image,” said Noa.