Swapo’s ruling party status in limbo: Kavekotora
09 November 2021 | Politics
Rally for Democracy and Progress leader Mike Kavekotora says if Swapo used illicit proceeds to finance its political activities to the detriment of its opponents, its legitimacy as the ruling party is brought into question.
This is after the Windhoek High Court on Wednesday heard that Swapo pocketed at least N$44 million through a horse-mackerel quota which former minister of fisheries and marine resources Bernhard Esau had allocated to the ruling party through the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) in 2017.
This is according to the bail hearing testimony of former Fishcor chief executive officer Mike Nghipunya, who said the fishing quota was allocated to Swapo through Fishcor, and after the quota had been sold to the company Karee Investments, N$ 44 million was paid to the party through accounts of the law firms Sisa Namandje & Co and De Klerk Horn Coetzee Incorporated.
Kavekotora said he is convinced that Swapo used public resources for self-gratification.
“I don’t doubt that Swapo did benefit. Their argument to disassociate themselves from the individuals is flawed because obviously, these individuals operated within the framework of the party,” he said.
He added: “As a consequence of that, do they [Swapo] have the legitimacy to be the ruling party if the way through which they came to power is fraudulent? We must test this with the legal brains, whether Swapo has the moral or legal grounds to be the ruling party.”
His comments were preceded by an earlier heated confrontation in the National Assembly between official opposition leader McHenry Venaani and Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.
Venaani demanded that Swapo pay back the money.
“Is it true that your party got 18 000 tonnes of this country’s fishing resources [worth N$ 44 million] to finance a campaign against your opponents? You guys are eating money… You will have your day in court and you will pay back,” he told Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is also the foreign affairs minister.
Nandi-Ndaitwah maintained she has no knowledge of her party benefiting from Fishrot.
“To the best of my knowledge and to the records that are in the hands of the Swapo secretariat, we have no records or anything to say that our party has received the so-called Fishrot money,” she said.
Attempts to get comments from Swapo’s top administrator, Sophia Shaningwa, on Thursday proved futile.
However, Shaningwa was quoted by a local newspaper on the same day as saying she should be pointed to the accounts where the Fishrot monies were deposited.
“To whom did he [Nghipunya] give the money? You cannot ask me these types of things. I think the people who were investigating him were supposed to ask him necessary questions,” she was quoted as saying.