Fisheries minister Albert Kawana yesterday dismissed, as untrue, a newspaper article claiming the ministry has already issued fishing rights to the same old holders at the expense of new applicants. An angry Kawana said the article, which carried in a weekly newspaper, was “political propaganda that emitted elsewhere”. “There is no truth in the article. The same newspaper wrote about me a few weeks back that I was chased out of Cabinet meeting. That was a lie and this again is blatant lies.
As journalists, you guys should be accurate on what you print,” he told New Era yesterday. “If you want to hear about the new fishing rights holders, there is a press conference tomorrow (today) at 10h00 at the ministry of information.
Join us there so that you can hear it from the horse’s mouth. What you guys are writing is absolute nonsense and blatant untruthful.”
The minister accused the weekly newspaper of trying to cause panic. “You, journalists, seems to have your own political agendas; it is not true that there are no new fishing holders – that is blatant lies and it is your duty as a reporter to verify whether the rumours you are getting are truthful from relevant authorities before publishing,” he added.
Responding to the newspaper article yesterday, leader of the official opposition, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) McHenry Venaani said he has written to President Hage Geingob asking for his intervention in the matter.
“If the ruling party does not come clean on the fishing quotas allocation, we will be left with no other option but to approach the High Court to nullify the quotas allocation because we will not allow mafias to continue plundering this country,” Venaani said at a media briefing.
Venaani said the current system of awarding fishing rights and quotas to individuals is not sustainable and needs to be reviewed because it does not serve the interests of the nation. “There is a need to review the current process of allocating fishing and quotas. The quota system was introduced to empower Namibians by giving them licenses to harvest fish from the Atlantic Ocean,” he said. However, he said, although this is regarded as empowerment mechanisms by government, the system only benefits a selected few – well-connected and well-off individuals.
“The rich and well-connected have used poor communities as fronts for their companies to get fishing quotas,” he said.
“Government must stop dishing out fishing rights to well-connected companies, and rather use the quotas to fund development projects that build
The ministry of fisheries in 2018 received about 5 200 applications for fishing rights from all parts of the country. The government allocates quotas to harvest marine resources to successful entities that have fishing rights.
2020-05-29 10:41:13 | 1 months ago