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So-called investigation of ‘Fishrot’ scandal

So-called investigation of ‘Fishrot’ scandal

By Mchenry Venaani MP
PDM President

The PDM is flabbergasted and dismayed to see how little respect HE, President Hage Geingob has for the intelligence of the people of Namibia.

The first question that leaps to mind after reading the press statement put out by Dr Albert Kawana, the new Minister of Fisheries informing the nation that he has been tasked with investigating the so-called “Fishrot” scandal that has engulfed our country, must be: “How can the government (the accused in this case) investigate itself?” Exactly how stupid and gullible does this government think we Namibians actually are? This like asking Mr Esau to investigate himself!

It is common knowledge that the Swapo government, and therefore the Cabinet, takes all decisions by means of consensus. Thus it is clear that the now-disgraced former Minister of Fisheries, Mr Bernard Esau, could not have done his shady deals with the Icelandic fish company without the knowledge and consent of the Cabinet. Small wonder the whistle-blower in the documentary about this scheme that was aired on Sunday night on OneAfrica Tv kept referring to “senior party members, including the president” when speaking about who were in the know.

Thus the PDM, reading between the lines, believes the reason why Pres Geingob has suddenly been galvanised into taking action about something that has been all over the media for more than a

month must be that he fears what more may be revealed. And that is why he wants to fob off the public outrage by tasking a member of his hand-picked Cabinet to “investigate” this scandal. This will not fly, as it is clear that the entire Cabinet has a dog in this race!

The people who watched the documentary mentioned above should also not forget about the way in which a private fishing company was bankrupted, putting 1000 Namibians out of work, so that the so-called “sharks” (Esau, Shanghala and Hatuikulipi) could start a government fishing company (Fishcor) for their own (and probably others’) enrichment.

The PDM rejects the appointment of Dr Kawana as investigator of this issue of national importance with the contempt it deserves – in fact, since Dr Kawana is purportedly a person with high legal qualifications, one would have expected him to refuse to accept this assignment as there is clearly a conflict of interest!

What is urgently required is an independent Commission of Inquiry like South Africa’s Zondo Commission, drawn from the private sector and with no links to the ruling party or the fishing industry, to investigate this matter in public.

Nothing less should satisfy the Namibian public. Nothing less will start to rid this country of the morass of corruption into which this government and this ruling party has plunged Namibia.


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