A fish rots from the head

14 November 2019 | Columns

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” Mark Twain once said.

In the end, truth will catch up with the forerunning lie, and even beat it to the crossing line.

Indeed, lies have short legs, if any leg at all.

An international fishing bribery scandal yesterday claimed two casualties from the Namibian cabinet in the persons of ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhardt Esau.

According to international reports, the politicians and officials in Namibia allegedly took bribes from Iceland's largest fishing company SAMHERJI, which had interest in Namibian waters.

SAMHERJI allegedly secured access to horse mackerel quotas in Namibia by paying bribes of around US$10 million (N$150 million between 2012 and 2018.

Namibia has been a fertile ground for corruption for a long time, although global indices would show otherwise. Politicians here thump their chests at such flawed ratings that paint a rosy picture of a country that in fact is rotting from within.

While the presumption of innocent until proven guilty is still applicable in the case of the two ministers and their cohorts, information that has surfaced so far suggests that something 'fishy' indeed occurred.

Greed has gripped this country by its proverbial balls. Cabals have been created to steal that which should be a cake for all. Corrupt dynasties, often close to power, have been created to loot what is left of the country's resources - while the rest of the citizenry must fend for themselves.

The statement by State House yesterday that President Hage Geingob “has accepted” the resignations of the two ministers leaves a trail of more questions than answers. One such question is: What would have happened had the two men dung in their heels and refused to let go of their cushy jobs?

Secondly, when is Geingob actually going to show would-be offenders that he is capable of firing them when all departures from his cabinet so far have been voluntary resignations?

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