The Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC) has fined the Governor of the Bank of Namibia, together with two other parties, N$1 million for contravening merger regulations.

The fine pertains to Johannes !Gawaxab's business undertakings before his appointment by the late President Hage Geingob as the Governor of the Central Bank.

!Gawaxab was appointed as Governor of the Bank of Namibia in 2020.

Before ascending to the position, the governor made a name for himself in the business world, including serving on the boards of prominent financial companies such as Old Mutual Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Ghana.

!Gawaxab, who is the third Governor of the Bank of Namibia, also owned Eos Capital, a financial services private equity company that, according to media reports at the time, managed more than N$1 billion.

The renowned business mogul had to shed all his private interests as a condition to become the governor of the Central Bank.

In this process, he sold his interest to another former banker, Ismael Gei-khoibeb, who, together with !Gawaxab and Gamma Investments had been slapped with a N$1 million fine by the NaCC.

Gei-khoibeb is also the one who took over !Gawaxab's share in Eos Capital.

!Gawaxab and his associates' crime in the Gama Investments deal was the failure to notify the Competition Commission about the transaction, which, according to the commission's rules, was above the threshold for mergers.

The fined parties are now required to implement a compliance programme to bring the deal in line with competition rules.

The settlement agreement between the parties and the competition commission was made an order of the High Court on April 30th.



Da'oud Vries