Namibia’s official opposition party, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), has come out with advice to the Government, saying the idea to auction some fishing quotas to international fishing companies was ill-advised.
Last week Namibia’s fisheries and marine resources minister Mr Albert Kawana was reported to have stated that the Government was in the process of finding a way to sell away some tons of fishing quotas to the highest bidder on foreign markets.
The minister said the move would raise much-needed funds which would be used to fund the Government’s efforts in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As the official opposition the Popular Democratic Party (PDM) has on multiple occasions stated that the Government of Namibia is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and collapse as a result of a careless leadership, mismanagement and corruption,” said PDM’s shadow minister for Justice Mr Thimotheus Shihumbu Ndumba in a statement.
“And today the government has admitted to that effect although doing so indirectly and without intending to do so.
“However PDM is advising the Government not to take the route of raising a quick buck through the auctioning off of the country’s precious natural resources. It is a short-sighted approach to auction the fish off to the highest bidder without considering the long-term effects such an action will have on the economy and the fishing industry.
“The very questions we are asking are: what happened to the many donations Namibian Government received recently from foreign donors through the Office of the Prime Minister meant to counter the effects of Covid-19?
“What happened to the N$8.1 billion stimulus package that was meant for SMEs but this promise didn’t materialize, resulting in hundreds if not thousands of Namibians losing their jobs?”
Ndumba said that unless the Government has provided an answer and logical explanation to these two questions, the intention to auction the fishing quotas must be stopped immediately.
“The Covid-19 situation in Namibia is getting serious by the day mostly as a result of poor leadership at the executive level. But the situation is not so serious that it justifies the auctioning off of the country’s fisheries when there is no guarantee that the revenue generated out of such an auction will not go the same way of the fishrot scandal.
“Namibia cannot afford another fishing scandal.”
IN THE PHOTO: PDM MP Thimotheus Shihumbu Ndumba