WINDHOEK - President Hage Geingob yesterday said he had denounced the approach taken by three senior ministers who openly condemned the Fishrot scandal because it was not cabinet or the ruling party’s way of doing things.
The three cabinet ministers, Calle Schlettwein, Tom Alweendo and Leon Jooste recently criticised the unfolding international fishing kickback scheme that has resulted in the resignations and arrests of Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala as well as other as other business people. Addressing the opening session of the Swapo central committee meeting in Windhoek yesterday, Geingob said he was not against the views of the ministers. “In Swapo we sit down in a civilized manner, robustly engage one another and accept and defend the decision of the collective,” Geingob said. “I am not against the views of the ministers. I am however, also not in favour of ministers who seek to communicate their views in a manner which results in the rest of their colleagues being vilified for abiding to the communication protocols of cabinet.” Geingob said the truth is that cabinet took a strong stance on the Fishrot matter and the impression created in the media is that only Alweendo, Jooste and Schlettwein were outraged. “There is not a single person who is not alarmed, and seeking explanation, of what has happened in the fishing sector. There is not a single person who is not eager for due process to take its course and the truth to be revealed. “As an executive, a worrying tendency has emerged of ministers either criticising or contradicting one another in public, whereas they have a platform to robustly engage one another every Tuesday,” the Head of State remarked. “I trust these ministers have taken note how my words were mischaracterised and now understand why I prefer that we speak and act as a collective.” Commenting on the investigations into the fishing sector and the two former ministers, Geingob said contrary to some jurisdictions in the world, Namibia enjoys a clear constitutional demarcation between the legislative, judiciary and the executive branches. “I have followed the due process of the law and the Namibian constitution to address the governance challenges in the fishing sector, particularly those aspects which fall within my jurisdiction,” he said. He said cabinet has resolved to allocate fishing rights in a manner that allows for the re-employment of the fishermen who lost their jobs and also decided to allocate quotas to all the 14 regions for development purposes under stringent oversight. Additionally, he said, acting minister of fisheries Albert Kawana has been instructed to start a review of fishing rights allocations in general and Fishcor specifically, over the last 10 years. “This process has already started, and the acting minister is to be commended for having held two successful stakeholders’ consultative sessions in Lüderitz and Walvis Bay and listening to the concerns of the affected communities and stakeholders,” Geingob said. He said in the next administration, he will be looking at appointing ministers who have the necessary capability to review key sectors in a similar fashion so that any malfeasance can be uncovered and fair allocation methods, which benefit all Namibians, are introduced.
2019-12-17 09:32:30 | 3 months ago