Namibia: Fisheries Sacks Director ... Employee Responsible for Fishing Quotas Allocation

The government has fired the director of policy, planning and economics in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.

For years, Anna Erastus headed the directorate responsible for allocating fishing quotas.

Erastus' termination of employment was signed by fisheries executive director Moses Maurihungirire on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission.

In an interview with The Namibian, Erastus confirmed the dismissal but termed it an unfair dismissal which she will fight.

"Everything transpiring around work issues. Accusing me that I did not attend a disciplinary hearing over allegations of unfair labour practices.

"It was an unfair dismissal. That was over an issue that happened in 2018. I do not want to say much. I am in the process of appealing and do not want to jeorpadise my chances," Erastus said.

Erastus says her dismissal was done before Maurihungirire was transferred to the Office of the Prime Minister.

It is alleged that Erastus' sacking comes after years of a power struggles that comes with the position.

Maurihungirire was assigned to the Public Service Commission secretariat a week ago by secretary to Cabinet George Simataa.

Maurihungirire was in charge of the fisheries portfolio during the time of the Fishrot scandal as the executive director.

The Namibian understands that prominent lawyer Elia Shikongo will take up Erastus' labour case.

Sources at the fisheries ministry said Erastus had tendered her resignation in the wake of the Fishrot scandal.

"She wanted to resign when Fishrot came out, but the resignation was rejected.

"Then she went into hospital for a few weeks and had to return to the office to explain all details to (Albert) Kawana (fisheries minister).

"Then she was fired," the source said.

Maurihungirire refused to comment on the matter when contacted by The Namibian.

"I no longer work at that ministry and do not press any further. I will not say anything more, respect my views," he said.

In 2014, the Anti-Corruption Commission investigated Erastus over allegations that she had received about N$700 000 from Omualu Fishing Company.

Omualu Fishing is a horse mackerel company owned by Swakopmund-based lawyer Sacky Kadhila Amoomo.

Amoomo appeared in Al Jazeera's documentary on the Fishrot scandal that painted him as the fixer who enabled corrupt transactions between investors and Namibian personalities connected to decision-makers.

It is not yet clear whether Erastus' firing is in any way linked to the Fishrot investigation.

However, ACC spokesperson Josefina Nghituwamata said the case is still under investigation.

Fisheries minister Kawana said he does not fire people.

"If a public official has committed misconduct, it is the executive directors who are responsible for charging them together with the Public Service Commission, then followed by a disciplinary hearing. I do not fire people," Kawana said.

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