Going ahead with quota allocation fishy

27 February 2020 | Opinion

President Hage Geingob’s mathematical mantra – T + A = TR (Transparency + Accountability = Trust) – risks being another political hot wind amid his Cabinet’s fortitude to go ahead and process current fishing rights applications.

There can never be ‘trust’ in a process initiated by Bernhardt Esau and which still bears his fingerprints. The fact that these applications were submitted in August 2018 but no awards are made to date is in itself suspect.

What took so long and who was being lined up secretly to benefit that it took more than a year to announce new right holders?

Are we going to see the majority of politicians again being the chief beneficiaries of fishing quotas? We would never know because ‘transparency’ is just a mantra in government.

Roping in the University of Namibia to supposedly sort the applications and inject an element of independence in the process doesn’t discard the fact that these applications were received with open arms by Esau, who will have his day in court about the alleged briberies he and his cohorts received in exchange for fishing quotas.

Elsewhere in the world where governments walk the talk of transparency, any process that is even remotely tainted by a scandal as huge as Fishrot would have been dismissed and new applications called.

Namibia is not prepared to do the same because many of our leaders are beneficiaries of corruption in the fishing industry and any iota of transparency, which means equal footing for all applicants, would leave them trailing behind those with quality and credible bids.

It can’t be by mere coincidence that the asset register of the National Assembly is littered with declarations showing that nearly every MP has a stake in fishing.

There is a clear pattern of how ‘leaders’ corruptly lined themselves at the very front of the queue – ahead of everyone else – to gobble up fishing rights.

The fact that they do not want this tainted process to start over points at another possible scenario where they have placed themselves ahead.

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