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Venaani wants Samherji’s N$13m blocked 

2023-11-15  Edward Mumbuu

Venaani wants Samherji’s N$13m blocked 

Official opposition leader McHenry Venaani has written to Icelandic’s prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir to rescind that country’s decision to grant a subsidy of around N$13 million to Samherji, a company linked to the Fishrot looting scandal. 

According to reports, Samherji received the subsidy to swap its vessels’ use of fuel for carbon-free ammonia. 

Samherji is at the heart of the Fishrot scandal, wherein Namibia’s opulent fisheries resources are said to have been stolen at an industrial scale. 

“I am appealing to your conscience and with great respect for your esteemed office, urging you to reconsider the reported plan of your government to grant the fishing and fish-processing company Samherji a subsidy of 100 million Icelandic krona in renewable energy funding. It is with profound concern that I draw your attention towards the involvement of Samherji in a series of corrupt practices in Namibia,” Venaani pleaded. 

The fish processing company is accused of paying massive bribes to Namibia power brokers in exchange for access to Namibia’s rich fisheries sector. 

“This Icelandic company has been accused of paying significant bribes since 2012 to secure undue advantage in the Namibian fishing sector. Their activities have been clearly identified as a significant factor in what is now internationally known as the ‘Fishrot Saga’,” Venaani said in his missive to Jakobsdóttir, dated 10 November 2023. 

It is furthermore Venaani’s position that the collateral damage of the Fishrot saga is vast, and the wounds created by it are still very fresh in the hearts of countless innocent Namibians. 

“As a result of the unenviable greed and maleficence of Samherji, thousands of our fishermen have lost their means of livelihood and are on the brink of destitution. The impact of this crisis has been further accentuated by the current global pandemic, leaving families and communities grappling with tremendous hardship,” the Popular Democratic Movement leader said. 

He added: “I bring this appeal to your discernment and moral leadership. It is indeed an opportunity to set an example and take a strong stand against corruption and exploitation. Please do not provide refuge to such entities through your benevolent acts of assistance. Instead, I urge you to demand that Samherji pays suitable reparations to the countless Namibian fishermen who lost their livelihoods due to the company’s unethical actions.” 

The PDM lawmaker added that the Fishrot Saga has had a profound impact on countless Namibians. 

“Fishermen have lost their jobs, communities have been devastated, and the country’s reputation has been tarnished. The scale of the corruption is truly staggering, and Samherji played a central role in this scandal. Madam Prime Minister, I urge you to use your moral leadership to demand that Samherji pays compensation to the thousands of Namibian fishermen who lost their jobs due to the company’s greed and maleficence.”

Venaani then called on Jakobsdóttir to do everything in her power to ensure that Samherji is held accountable for its purported actions. 

“The Namibian people deserve justice. They deserve to know that the Icelandic government will not tolerate corruption. I urge you to do what is right and demand what is fair and just for the Namibian people. We hope that your government, recognised for its ethical conduct, will reconsider its decision, advocating for what is fair and just, and seeking compensation for the Namibian people who have suffered due to Samherji’s reprehensible actions,” he said. -

2023-11-15  Edward Mumbuu

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