They have to go, says Geingob
Highly placed sources indicated this morning that President Hage Geingob is planning to jettison justice minister Sacky Shanghala and fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau from his cabinet over an international fishing bribery scandal.
Iceland’s biggest fishing company, Samherji, is at the centre of allegations that it secured access to horse mackerel quotas in Namibia by paying bribes of around US$10 million (N$150 million) to politicians and officials in Namibia between 2012 and 2018.
According to international reports, the politicians and officials in Namibia who allegedly took bribes from Samherji are Esau, Tamson ‘Fitty’ Hatuikulipi, who worked as consultant for Samherji, James Hatukulipi, the chairman of the board of state-owned company Fishcor and Shanghala, the country’s current justice minister and former attorney-general. The fifth individual implicated is Mike Nghipunya, the CEO of Fishcor.
Namibian Sun understands the president indicated this morning that the ministers “have to go”, but it was not clear whether he plans on dismissing them or place them on suspension. The president is said to be “fed up” with perpetual allegations of corruption against the two men, and sources in the presidency said Geingob has made up his mind.
Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji, said in statement: “We were very disappointed to learn that Jóhannes Stefánsson, a former managing director of Samherji's operations in Namibia, appears to have been involved in questionable business practices and possibly entangled Samherji in activities that may be illegal.”
Stefánsson was fired from his position in Namibia in 2016 because of mismanagement and unacceptable behaviour, Samherji said.
"We are deeply shocked that Johannes Stefánsson not only admits being involved in illegal activities, he is now also making allegations against colleagues. This is not how we do business. This is not Samherji,” said Baldvinsson.
This is a developing story.