• September 25th, 2020

Massive stink brewing over Fishrot

Eveline de Klerk, 
Maria Amakali

SWAKOPMUND - A massive demonstration against the ‘Fishrot Six’ and corruption that has tainted the sector leading to the loss of thousands of jobs is planned for 10 December in Walvis Bay. 
The planned demonstration is a replication of Monday’s march against the granting of bail to former ministers Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala as well as four others implicated in the international fishing kickback scheme. 

The march will kick off 10h00 at the Kuisebmond Stadium and it will proceed until the police station in town.  The protest follows after the arrests of Esau, Shanghala, James Hatuikulipi, Tamson ‘Fitty’ Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo and Pius Mwatelulo on charges of corruption and money laundering, among other charges. 

Walvis Bay-based activist Knowledge Ipinge said he is mobilising Namibians in their masses to protest next week Tuesday, which is also to coincide with the commemoration of Human Rights Day. 

“Corruption in the fishing industry is affecting every household in Walvis Bay. Esau and his cronies purposely chose their personal gain and declined to rescue companies such as Etosha Fishing, United Fishing and Namsov that resulted in more than 4 000 job losses,” Ipinge explained. He then appealed to all Namibians at the coast to stand up and make their voices heard through the demonstration. Meanwhile, the jobless fishermen yesterday also told New Era that they would be protesting every day in front of the Kuisebmond Stadium to remind Namibians about the hardships they had been facing since their wildcat strike in 2015. They accuse Esau of being responsible for their misery, saying he did not give attention to their grievances back then. 

Law Society enters fray

Meanwhile, not a single complaint has been lodged with the Law Society of Namibia (LSN) against local lawyers implicated in the Fishrot scandal. The scandal, which has been widely reported in the local and international media, claims local politicians and their associates received more than N$103,6 million in kickbacks. “The LSN has received numerous requests for commentary on the matter known as the ‘Fishrot’ scandal, but so far, there has been no written complaint lodged with the LSN against any lawyer in connection with the matter,” explained LSN chairperson Meyer van den Berg. Van den Berg nevertheless said they are currently studying and collecting information as well as engaging other institutions to deliberate on the matter before making a decision.  “The LSN further recognises that corrupt practices, money laundering and similar offences are serious offences and pose severe threats to the rule of law. However, the LSN also appreciates that all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court,” said van den Berg. The documentary, ‘The Anatomy of the Bribe’ which aired on Sunday on global network television Al Jazeera, implicated Windhoek-based lawyer Sisa Namandje and Omualu Fishing managing director Sacky Kadhila-Amoomo, who is also a renowned lawyer. The two prominent lawyers have been painted by the documentary as ‘fixer lawyers’ who have political connections and reportedly enable business dealings between potential investors and politicians. The documentary alleged N$17.5 million was paid by a state-owned fishing company, Fishcor, into Namandje’s law firm, Sisa Namandje & Co Trust account between 2015 and 2017, at the time when James Hatuikulipi was the chairperson of Fishcor. 

Eveline de Klerk
2019-12-04 07:43:50 | 9 months ago

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