Fisheries federation wants assurances

09 December 2019 | Fishing

The chairperson of the Federation of Fishing Associations Matti Amukwa says he would like to see acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana create stability following the Fishrot bribery scandal involving horse-mackerel quotas.

In light of damning television documentaries that exposed the scandal, Amukwa was asked what his association thought about the allocation of new fishing rights.

Former fisheries minister Bernardt Esau, who faces several charges in connection with the Fishrot scandal, had been expected to award new fishing rights on 31 December 2018. A total of 5 513 applications had been received.

“We expect assurance of stability and security in the fishing industry,” Amukwa said.

“There are a lot of investments and jobs [on the line]. We do not want any disruptions.”

Kawana had told Namibian Sun he intended to meet industry representatives and take their concerns back to cabinet for a decision.

Also implicated in the bribery scandal is Sacky Shanghala, who was the head of the Law Reform Commission when the Marine Resources Act was amended in 2015.

The amendment gave Esau leeway to allocate fishing rights at own discretion. This led to the demise of Bidvest Namibia's fishing arm, Bidfish, which closed down and resulted in the holding company delisting from the Namibia Stock Exchange.

Esau allocated a considerable chunk of the fishing rights to state-owned entity Fishcor, which is alleged to have been used as a front for corrupt deals.

Chargers of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion have been brought against Esau, Shanghala, suspended Investec manager Ricardo Gustavo, former Investec MD and Fishcor board chairperson James Hatuikulipi, his cousin Tamson Hatuikulipi who is also Esau's son-in-law, and Pius Mwatelulo. They will remain in custody until 20 February 2020.

OGONE TLHAGE

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