WINDHOEK – The air was thick with emotions and weariness as citizens from all walks of life including prominent members from the law fraternity took to the streets of Windhoek on Friday in a peaceful demonstration against corruption.
The demonstration came in light of the “fish rot” scandal involving N$150 million in which fisheries minister Bernard Esau and justice minister Sackey Shanghala resigned from Cabinet after being summoned to State House by President Hage Geingob to explain their case following media reports.
Chanting and singing the group of hundreds of people marched from Zoo Park to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) building to hand over a petition to its director-general Paulus Noa.
Placards were held high with messages that read “Stop selling our country, Noa this is not your ark,” “ACC should stop being a toothless giant,” and “Lock them up,” amongst others.
The group demanded the prosecution and freezing of assets of former justice minister Shangala and former fisheries minister Esau as the nation is tired of the inability and inaction of the ACC to successfully investigate high-profile corruption cases.
The group believes if Noa is unable to investigate he should resign and allow those who can fulfill the mandate of ACC to take over.
The ACC was given until Monday (yesterday) to respond to the group’s demands, failure of which they will go back to the streets, to State House, where they will march till change has been made.
“It is due, we have been talking, we are no longer bluffing, we are going to take action, which is peaceful action,” commented one of the organisers Keffus Shilongo.
Upon receiving the petition Noa thanked the group profoundly for exercising their constitutional rights to demonstrate and express their disappointment. He also apologised to the group for arriving late, as they had been waiting for him and did not want a representative to receive the petition.
To assure the demonstrators he said the matter is being taken very seriously. A slight commotion interrupted Noa as demonstrators called him a liar and that he should leave the office. “Lock them up, lock them up!” chanted the group.
But Noa retorted that the ACC is seriously dealing with the matter, that the process of freezing the assets has already started and that other actions will follow.
“We are consolidating the evidence, ‘cause you can never take an action before you consolidate your action,” said Noa.
He added that people who did not want to give them evidence in 2014 because of their involvement were ready to give them information now. Noa ended his remarks by saying: “That’s why we are acting, that was the only reason why in 2014 there was no action, some of these people were part of it, so when we approached them they kept quiet.”
Some weren’t satisfied but were glad they were able to be part of the demonstration.
“We will demonstrate peacefully until something has been done, we have demands, we have clear demands we want these guys prosecuted,” commented Shilongo.
2019-11-19 07:38:39 | 10 months ago