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Mines Minister rubbishes bribery claims

By: Anton Mbinge

The Minister of Mines and Energy Tom Alweendo refuted corruption allegations at his Ministry, stating that the claims are not factual.

This comes after a social media post in which it was alleged that a Chinese company, XinFeng Investment (PTY)LTD, that mines Lithium near Uis had bribed Alweendo, his technical advisor and Mines Commissioner, with a sum of N$50 million.

Alweendo indicated that the alleged amount of money was an agreement between two companies, with interest to sell an Exclusive Prospecting License (EPL) amongst each other, and it never involved the minister or officials.

“I can categorically say, I have never seen any N$50 million dollars, I have never shared it with anybody, so whoever wrote this story must tell me how I got it,” Alweendo stated.

Alwwendo indicated that the Ministry has decided to strengthen the measure to mitigate the act of wrong doings and possible corruption and also close the loop hole in the process. He said that some of the efforts they have in place is to make the applications of EPLs to be done online to have a minimal number of humans in the process, and this will address the corruption activity.

Alweendo also noted that corruption destroys societies and that it's every citizen’s duty to help fight corruption, further adding that at most people only report a corrupt act once it is done by a person they do not know or someone whom they are not related to, however once it is done by a close relative or someone they know, no one speaks about it, a situation he said makes it harder to stop or fight corruption.

The minister emphasised that investigations are underway to determine whether there were any corrupt acts during the issuing of the EPL.

“Unfortunately when you do an investigation in the public service, you can only do that when the individual is still in your service, unfortunately one of the accused persons has resigned and administratively you can no longer investigate somebody who is not with you,” he said.

However, the matter is with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and it is them to share the way forward.

Alweendo said people have lost trust in the Ministry therefore he urged the Ministry of Mines and Energy staff members to do the right things and restore people’s trust back.



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