Dumisani Sigogo

Namibian opposition political parties have called on the ruling SWAPO to step down as a government because the party allegedly swallowed hook, line and sinker proceeds from crime and corruption such as the Fishrot scandal.

Firebrand leader of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM), Bernadus Swartbooi begged the former Fisheries and Justice ministers who are implicated in the Fishrot scandal to “confess their alleged sins and repent.”

“Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala tell this nation how much money was eaten and where is the money so that the state can get it for the sake of our children. Tell us the names of the individuals involved in the Fishrot,” appealed Swartbooi.

“Set yourself free by speaking the truth, you are never going to be ministers or get into politics again but save the future generation,” he said.

The LPM leader said it smells fishy that president Hage Geingob did not know that his ministers were allegedly involved in organized criminal activities to loot natural resources such as fisheries which are Namibia’s third revenue earner.

“He is the head of state and government, the ministers report to him it is his responsibility to know that there was looting going on. Does he (Geingob) he believe that we should believe that he did not know?” probes Swartbooi.

Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani said the Fishrot scandal is evidence that SWAPO is stealing from the people.

Venaani said: “There is no corruption in this country that has not been assented and signed by SWAPO’s influence. SWAPO must resign as a government. They have lost the moral authority to govern this country”.

He said PDM is committed to make SWAPO pay the money back to the fishing industry.  The opposition party has also petitioned the Anti-Corruption Commission, the inspector general of the Namibian Police and the prosecutor general to explain why the lawyers linked to the Fishrot scandal have not been arrested or charged for corruption.

Swartbooi also said his party will appeal to the international community to impose travel and economic sanctions on the SWAPO-led government because it no longer genuinely represented the people of Namibian.

SWAPO president Geingob at a recent press conference, denied that his campaign was funded by the proceeds of corruption or that the ruling party directly benefited from the Fishrot corruption scandal.

The Fishrot scandal alleges that Samherji, an Iceland fishing company bribed senior political and business figures in Namibia to gain superior access to the Namibia’s billion dollar fishing waters.
Source alleged that Samherji bankrolled SWAPO through its Namibia subsidiary via  a trust account controlled by the ruling party sympathisers.

Geingob made the denials days after investigator Willem Olivier from the Anti- Corruption Connnission testified in court that the N$17,5 million from state-owned Fishcor that was paid into Sisa Namandje and Company’s account was used for SWAPO’s 2017 election campaigns.

According to Geingob the fact that the alleged Fishrot loot money was not transacted through the official party bank accounts shows SWAPO did not receive money from the fishing scandal.

Geingob said his party had started to ensure that future domestic or foreign, are authorized by the party’s secretary general and  fall within the regulations of the 2019 Electoral Act.