Opposition parties yesterday accused the ruling party of lacking political will to tackle corruption at the highest level. Leaders of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) and Landless People’s Movement (LPM) yesterday spoke out against corruption, following President Hage Geingob’s announcement on Sunday that the party has not received any cent from Fishrot for its political campaigns.
PDM leader McHenry Venaani yesterday said Swapo has shown once again that it is not prepared to lead the fight against corruption.
“His knee jerk reaction was influenced by ACC’s Willem Olivier testimony and not by his own realisation to safe face. The response of President Geingob was a half-hearted attempt to deflect Swapo culpability, as the fundamental issue has not been addressed. Since he was ready to declare his assets will he also declare those who funded his 2017 campaign?” he queried.
Venaani said Geingob’s briefing had a lot of organised mendacious statements and remarks.
“The denial that the ruling party has not indirectly benefited from the Fishrot saga is a blatant lie a five-year-old will not even dare to believe you. The press briefing yesterday [Sunday] reminded me of the play by Oliver Cromwell – April 20 1653,” he remarked.
He said the party wrote to the prosecutor general, Martha Imalwa, demanding answers as to why the missing parcel of lawyers implicated in this scandal is not apprehended.
“We remain alive to the fact that lawyers hold the cardinal evidence as to where the money really went – no amount of semantics will help,” he noted.
LPM leader Bernadus Swartbooi argued Geingob should have known better that some of his Cabinet ministers were busy looting the fishing sector.
“There’s an internal admission by senior members within Swapo that Fishrot money was paid to delegates for President Hage Geingob’s campaigns. Geingob is not committed to fighting corruption. Swapo is not committed to fighting corruption. They benefited from corruption,” Swartbooi charged.
Swartbooi called the Fishrot accused, who are in custody, including former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau and former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, to come clean and open up about the scandal.
“In your darkest moments, the truth can set you free. There was trust bestowed upon you and you broke the hearts of Namibians. You can still do a patriotic thing and speak the truth. Speak up; you will never be ministers again but you can help us unbundle the network you were doing these things with. Swapo party has deserted you. Swapo said you are on your own. You don’t matter anymore. They are making you sacrificial lambs. Set yourselves free. God, the merciful will hear. You can even talk to bishops,” Swartbooi reacted.
Nudo secretary general Joseph Kauandenge said Swapo’s briefing was a wasted opportunity. He said the President should have taken the moral high ground by reassuring the nation that those implicated in the Fishrot scandal would be brought to book.
“After all, this whole Fishrot saga happened under his watch as president and chairman of the Cabinet where decisions were taken to empower the line minister of fisheries to allocate fishing rights at will. Morally, the President of Swapo should have risen above denialism and political correctness and simply said he is regretful of the fact that most of these transactions happened under his watch – whether he was aware of that or those become secondary in the realm of things,” Kauandenge stated. Nudo strongly believes the Swapo party leadership and those in government cannot simply hide behind the shadow of saying the issue is before the courts; hence, they cannot comment on it.