Namibia: Fishrot Scandal - Kawana Tells Namibians to Move On

11 December 2019

Attorney general Albert Kawana says Namibians must pick up the pieces, move on and allow the investigation into the Fishrot fishing quotas corruption scandal to continue unhindered.

Kawana, who is acting as fisheries minister after former minister Bernhard Esau was arrested for his role in the Fishrot bribery scandal, made these remarks at a media briefing on Monday.

At that event, Kawana announced the government's decision to extend and allocate fishing quotas to companies whose fishing rights have expired.

He also announced that the government plans to assist retrenched fishermen who lost their employment as a result of the Fishrot scandal to get their jobs back.

When asked whether the government in the past had been ignoring the fishermen who lost their jobs as a result of questionable deals by Esau, he responded that they did not have the information they now have regarding the lost jobs.

He added that the investigations against the former minister and other people accused of corruption in the fishing sector will continue without hindrance, but Namibians must "pick up the pieces and move on".

"The most important thing now is to grow the economy, and make sure that we create more employment opportunities in this sector. My appeal is let us pick up the pieces and move on as a nation," he said.

Over 1 000 people lost their jobs in the fishing sector following a decision by Esau to reduce quotas allocated to their respective companies and to reallocate the quotas to several briefcase companies.

The briefcase companies which were awarded quotas turned out to be part of a scheme through which politicians and some of their business cronies allegedly benefited.

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