“Deliberate liquidation of Air Namibia was a willful move to surrender our Air Space to the private sector” – SPYL secretary Nekongo
By Clifton Movirongo.
SWAPO Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Ephraim Nekongo, on Friday, said SPYL is saddened to learn that the planes that belonged to the now-liquidated Air Namibia are being sold to WestAir.
According to him, SPYL has always maintained that the liquidation of Air Namibia was a concocted move to pave a way for a private airline at the expense of “our Airline.”
“We will continue to stand firm that the deliberate liquidation of Air Namibia was a willful move to surrender our Air Space to the private sector,” Nekongo said, adding that “so that they exert a monopoly over that sector, and charge our people exorbitant amounts in flight tickets.”
He said they warned the government throughout that “private Airlines will take over Namibia’s commercial airspace and monopolize it to amass maximum profits at the expense of our people.”
He added: “We hope that the resolution to bring back Air Namibia, as resolved by the 7th Congress Ordinary Congress of the SWAPO Party, will be fast-tracked soon.”
“Today we are shocked to hear that they are buying assets of Air Namibia such as planes, even though during the liquidation talks, the government has assured us without any fear of contradiction that all the planes will be reserved and the government will do everything in its power to bring back a national airline,” he maintained.
This comes as late last year, suitors and aviation partners Progress Aviation and AB Airlines, wrote a letter to the Finance and Public Enterprises Minister Iipumbu Shiimi, accusing liquidators Bruni and McLaren of acting unethically. Bruni and McLaren allegedly refused to view bids the partners made for two Embraer 135 jets they intended to buy following the airline’s downfall in 2021. The liquidators confirmed the sale of the jets to a leasing company, Wings Aviation Services.
Nekongo said SPYL had a meeting with the President in October 2020, adding that the matter was then referred to the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Public Enterprises at the time, Minister of Mines and Energy, and the Director of the National Planning Commission, who subsequently resolved to liquidate Air Namibia, a decision that went on to be endorsed by cabinet.
“Like the nation at large as well as the SWAPO-affiliated NUNW, we relentlessly fought and objected to the liquidation of Air Namibia with the understanding of saving the jobs of our people, and to let the state continue playing an active role in the economy of our country by owning strategic assets such as an Airline, as provided for in the preamble of the SWAPO Party Constitution.”
Meanwhile, the SPYL secretary was quick to point out that he is worried by the capitalist approach recently employed by the government in dealing with “our parastatals, contrary to the ideology and elections manifesto of the SWAPO Party. “We, therefore, hope that the State will continue to play a role expected of it by the people.”