We didn’t know – Fishcor board members

19 February 2020 | Crime


National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) board members have pleaded ignorance of the alleged grand thievery that occurred right under their noses at the state-owned company that is now at the centre of a N$150 million bribery storm.

The scandal has led to the arrest of their former colleague and board chairperson, James Hatuikulipi, and CEO Mike Nghipunya.

Other board members include regional governors Usko Nghaamwa (Ohangwena) and Sirkka Ausiku (Kavango West), fisheries ministry executive director Dr Moses Maurihungirire, Dr Bennet Kangumu, Ndaendomwenyo Sheya and Clareta Gamses, who later resigned.

They all served at the height of what is now fast becoming Namibia’s biggest post-independence corruption scandal, which involved using Fishcor as a vehicle in a grand bribery scheme involving about N$150 million.

Questions have sprung up in recent months as to how the alleged unethical conduct could occurred with ease and finesse without the board acting on it.

Known as ‘Fishrot’, the scandal arose from former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau allegedly pushing through an amendment to the Marine Resources Act that gave him powers to distribute fishing quotas as he saw fit.

Using his newly acquired powers, Esau stripped many private companies of fishing rights and handed them to Fishcor – allegedly as a smokescreen to allocate them to Icelandic seafood company Samherji in return for kickbacks to those now implicated in the Fishrot debacle.

Those who lost such rights ended up retrenching thousands of fishermen.

Nghaamwa said as board members they were not always privy to what the company’s executives were up to.

“In each and every business, there are technical components that cannot just be known by everybody. These technical components can only be known by those running the business. This is exactly what happened at Fishcor,” said Nghaamwa, himself a successful businessman.

“Those running the business use these technical components to enrich themselves. As board members we just thought the company was doing well according to the report and presentations we were receiving.”

Ausiku contended that when she became a board member of Fishcor in May 2017, much of the alleged bribery had already occurred.

“From which year now, when did I join the board? Some of these things were done when we were not there. Now how do I respond to something I was not a part of?’” she said.

Kangumu, who is currently acting as board chairperson after James Hatuikulipi’s resignation, said he too did not know about the alleged bribes.

“Fishrot does not equal Fishcor, and vice versa, which has largely been ignored by the media, which could provide insight into how things were handled,” he said.

“Amidst all this, we firmly believe that culprits will not perpetually evade the long arm of the law, including within the current board if any,” he commented.

So far the main accused in the Fishrot matter are James Hatuikulipi, his cousin Tamson Hatuikulipi, former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau, Nghipunya, suspended Investec employee Ricardo Gustavo, Hanganeni employee Pius Mwatelulo and Nghipunya. Also arrested were three hangers-on of the main accused who face separate charges.

Similar News


Ndeitunga moves to limit lockdown arrests

17 hours ago | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKPolice chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has urged his officers to rather issue spot fines or release offenders with warnings, as the possibility of overflowing...

Church bell stolen

17 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThieves paid little attention to the teachings of the Bible when they stole a church bell valued at N$100 000 this past weekend....

Teacher arrested for defying alcohol sales ban

1 day - 30 March 2020 | Crime

ILENI NANDJATOOSHAKATIPolice in the north have arrested five people who refused to close their informal businesses.One of them is a teacher who owns a shebeen...

16 arrested for wildlife crimes

1 day - 30 March 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKSixteen suspects have been arrested in recent days in connection with wildlife crimes and six new cases were registered.According to police statistics ten wildlife...

Girl repeatedly raped by uncle

1 week ago - 24 March 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKA 14-year-old girl from the Ondiyala location in the Ondangwa Region has been raped by her uncle since last September. According to the...

Five men commit suicide

1 week ago - 23 March 2020 | Crime

ILENI NANDJATOOSHAKATITwo businessmen and a school principal are among the five people who committed suicide in the Ohangwena Region this month. Three of the deceased...

Namibian caught with 611 pangolin scales

1 week ago - 19 March 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT A Namibian man was arrested last week at Rundu for being in possession of 611 pangolin scales, five pieces...

11-year-old raped

1 week ago - 18 March 2020 | Crime

An 11-year-old girl was raped on her way from school on Friday at Okapya village in Ongwediva. The suspect, an Angolan man, has been arrested....

City cop back in court for rape

2 weeks ago - 17 March 2020 | Crime

A Windhoek City Police officer accused of raping a 16-year-old girl between May and November 2019 is expected to make a second appearance in the...

Man stabbed to death over tombo

2 weeks ago - 17 March 2020 | Crime

NAMPA A 40-year-old man died on Sunday after he was stabbed with a knife, allegedly by a 26-year-old suspect, at Aranos in...

Latest News

Andreas reveals coronavirus fears

7 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEKAs the worldwide coronavirus outbreak and its consequences continue to take the world by storm, celebrities have spoken about their own experiences, be...

Budget delayed 'until further notice'

8 hours ago | Economics

New finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi has announced that the tabling of the 2020/21 budget will be “delayed until further notice”.Shiimi issued a statement saying the...

Skorpion, MUN at loggerheads

17 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) yesterday called for the urgent intervention of president Hage Geingob after Skorpion Zinc Mine and Refinery...

Coronavirus: Aochamub could be discharged...

17 hours ago | Disasters

TOIVO NDJEBELAWINDHOEKNamibian ambassador to France Albertus Aochamub says he has made a good recovery from coronavirus and may be discharged from hospital this week, having...

Budget faces downward revision

17 hours ago | Economics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKHeavy knock expected on· VAT· Company tax· PAYE· ...

‘Conflicted’ Muinjangue removed from genocide...

17 hours ago | Cultural

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKThe Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) has recalled Ester Muinjangue as the chairperson of the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation (OGF), following her appointment as deputy health...

Booze sellers in trouble for...

17 hours ago | Business

ILENI NANDJATOPolice in the north have arrested five people who refused to close their informal busi­nesses. One of them is a teacher who owns a...

Church bell stolen

17 hours ago | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThieves paid little attention to the teachings of the Bible when they stole a church bell valued at N$100 000 this past weekend....

Needed: Stimulus packages

17 hours ago | Opinion

Many countries hit by the coronavirus scourge have hammered out ways in which to keep their economies afloat, especially after the stay-home directive is over...

Load More