Namibia: Lpm Weighs in On Fishrot Scandal

19 November 2019

DEPUTY leader and chief strategist of the Landless People's Movement Henny Seibeb says the scramble for resources among the elite will bring the country to its knees.

He was commenting on the 'Fishrot scandal' that was exposed last week and implicated former justice minister Sacky Shanghala and former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau as well as Investec Namibia's managing director James Hatuikulipi as kingpins in a fishing scheme that generated kickbacks of at least N$150 million over four years.

Seibeb said in a press conference in Windhoek yesterday that the ministers and affiliates of the scandal are an "unpatriotic criminal cabal".

"The Fishrot scandal is a typical example of how the unpatriotic criminal cabal, masquerading as working for the people, access state institutions to divert resources to themselves and their cronies," he charged.

Seibeb said the revelations regarding the fishing corruption was an example of how executives use their positions for their own benefit at the expense of citizens.

Seibeb suggested that criminal penalties for crimes involving corruption, especially among executives, should be nothing less than a life imprisonment.

"It must be a life sentence because in China, for example, if you are involved in corrupt activities, especially if you are an executive member or minister, the maximum penalty is death.

So here, because our Constitution opposes it, we can have life imprisonment so that we prevent these corrupt people from thinking that they can easily access resources in Namibia," he continued.

Other suggestions Seibeb brought up included calling for a citizens' arrest of Esau, Shanghala and Hatuikulipi, as well as a recommendation for investigations against top Windhoek lawyer Sisa Namandje to be opened.

"We also call for investigations against Sisa Namandje, for his trust fund to be frozen until further notice, because we believe since he is so close to the accused people, he may have also unjustifiably benefited, or is complicit in some sort of money- laundering," he stated.

He added that the Law Society of Namibia should suspend Namandje's licence in terms of the Legal Practitioners Act until further notice.

"We recommend that the Judicial Service Commission must in fact step in and ensure that he does not practise, at least until his name is cleared because we do not want a lawyer who is seen to be involved in corruption," said Seibeb.

He said his party believes the director general of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Paulus Noa, should resign from his position, as there has never been a major arrest in his 16 years of heading the commission.

Once Noa leaves the commission, discussions on how to reform it can ensue, he observed.

When reached for comment, Namandje wished the party luck with their upcoming elections.

"Are they done with their election campaign? Tell my colleague and young brother honourable Swartbooi good luck to him. We are practising law, not politics. No dirty campaign will deter us," he said.

Attempts to reach Noa were unsuccessful.

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