By Megameno Shikwambi
As the dust on the fish rot scandal continue to rise, the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCN) has laughed off at the inability by state apparatus and the “highly educated” advisors around President Hage Geingob to blow the cover off massive corruption in the fishing sector.
“A brave whistleblower and an intrepid foreign journalist did it for us,” said TUCN.
The entity touted that maladministration, corruption and nepotism had been glaringly there in the fishing sector whose expose has now claimed the scalp of former fisheries minister Bernard Esau, ex-justice minister Sacky Shanghala, resigned Fishcor chairperson, James Hatuikulipi, his cousin Tamson “Fitty” Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo and Pius Mwatulelo.
TUCN pressed further that had it not been for the interference of international media, the rot in the fishing sector would have been allowed to continue unabated, despite an Anti-Corruption Commission admittance that investigations were being carried out since 2014.
TUCN has taken aim directly at the brains advising the incumbentpresident putting their competence levels to question adding that they are complicit.
“Now Dr. Geingob who was totally ill-prepared and still seem to be at a loss at what to do, he and his team of highly educated and highly paid advisors are all lost.
Now one of the first things he does in his confusion and reaction to the scandal is to appoint Attorney General, Dr. Albert Kawana to the position of acting minister of fisheries and asking him to investigate any instances of maladministration, corruption and nepotism in the fishing sector,” said TUCN.
“Can it reasonably be concluded in this presidential move, that he has lost all faith and trust in the state investigation machinery consisting the prosecution, Attorney General, Police, Ombudsman, Anti-Corruption Commission, the men and women behind dark glasses, the spy network and not to mention the string of advisors to capably conduct an investigation into instances of corruption, maladministration and nepotism in the sector.”
TUCN queried that if the President had lost faith in all these entities, how did he justify his trust in the person of Kawana to do the job.
“Dr. Kawana, until immediately before this appointment occupied the position of Attorney General, that position is vested with constitutional powers, Article 87, to do many things, including to exercise the final responsibility of the office of the Prosecutor General.
Besides the immediately above, for close to 30 years, a period corresponding with that over which the Fishrot episode unfolded, Dr.
Kawana occupied one or the other not insignificant position in the ministry of justice itself.
Over that time, this and many other instances of corruption, maladministration and nepotism not only sprouted but actually blossomed and flourished right there in that of justice ministry, not to speak of faraway fisheries, where he is an obvious novice, a total stranger, Johny Come Lately.
Yet Dr. Geingob, kamastag has trust and faith in him to investigate the Fishrot ministry, and we must accept that he is a serious president, who does not take us for fools, “said TUCN in its press release.
TUCN has rather challenged Geingob to set up a commission of inquiry into the saga, a call that has over the past weeks, resonated with opposition political parties.
In contrast, the Landless People’s Movement, has so far rubbished any commission of inquiry stating that many such commissions had been set up before and amounted to nothing.
But TUCN said such an inquiry should constitute robust independent individuals who are not in any way or manner tainted “by the rot in government, to investigate (independently without fear or retribution or any kind of backlashes) the corruption, maladministration and nepotism in that sector”.
TUCN pelts SWAPO’s National Assembly list
“One issue that has remained stubbornly troublesome for many right thinking Namibians has been that of convicted criminals occupying seats in the National Assembly, being referred as honourable members, while to all intents and purposes they are actually dishonourable criminals deserving no accolades of honour.
The Constitution, at Article 47, disqualifies from the national assembly members on conviction of crimes that would invoke the sentence of death had they been committed before independence or those carrying a 12-year prison sentence without the option of a fine.
All offences involving dishonesty and fraudulent intent, even for the most miniscule in character, if they have been proven by a competent court against the person, such must invite disqualification from membership of the National Assembly, automatic disqualification for life,” said TUCN. The call for the chopping off the block of the heads of convicts in the National Assembly was also made by the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL).
However, SPYL seems to have fizzled on its attempt to push the president to chuck out elements like former education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa and former Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) boss, Tobie Aupindi, both of which have been convicted and fined.