Namibia: Fishrot Accused ‘Handpicked’ for Fishcor Roles

Roland Routh

The appointments of James Hatuikulipi and Mike Nghipunya as chairperson and CEO of the Fishing Company of Namibia (Fishcor), respectively, have been executed unprocedurally and never in step with the provisions of the regulation, a number one investigator into the Fishrot matter claimed yesterday.

Anti-Corruption Fee chief investigator Andreas Kanyangela was testifying in the course of the ongoing bail listening to of former minister of justice Sacky Shanghala, Hatuikulipi, Nghipunya, Pius Mwatelulo, Otneel Shuudifonya and Phillipus Mwapopi earlier than Windhoek Excessive Courtroom Decide Shafimana Ueitele.

He substantiated his declare by saying Hatuikulipi was appointed straight by former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau, whereas the Fisheries and Marine Assets Act stipulates that the chairperson was to be chosen by the members of the board themselves, and never by the minister.

He added that their investigations proved that an electronic mail despatched by Shanghala to Esau pushed for the appointment of Hatuikulipi.

The e-mail learn: “I imagine that James Hatuikulipi is the right individual for the chairmanship of Fishcor, and he’s what we’re searching for.”

In Could 2014, Esau supplied Hatuikulipi the place for a interval of three years, and prolonged it for an additional three years in 2017. Hatuikulipi then forwarded the appointment letter to Shanghala, his cousin Tamson (Fitty) Hatuikulipi and former consultant of the Samherji Group, who benefitted immensely from the Fishrot scandal, Jóhannes Stefánsson.

Kanyangela stated, after the appointment of Hatuikulipi, the latter wasted no time in convincing the opposite board members to nominate Nghipunya – who at that stage was the appearing CEO of Fishcor, as substantive CEO – which was step one within the plan to hijack the fishing business.

He additional instructed the choose that at that stage, the fisheries minister didn’t have the ability to allocate quotas to non-fishing rights holders reminiscent of Fishcor. That is once they hatched the plan to amend the Fisheries Act to permit the minister to allocate quotas on the minister’s whim, which opened the door for Fishrot.

Shanghala, who at that stage was nonetheless on the helm of the Regulation Reform and Improvement Fee, then ready the modification, which was tabled earlier than Cupboard. The modification was framed as such that it offered that the minister is empowered to allocate Fishcor 50 000 metric tonnes of horse mackerel yearly, in addition to different fish species like hake. Fishcor then entered into utilization agreements with fishing entities related to the Samherji Group from Iceland, in addition to different entities.

In line with Kanyangela, it was agreed that the entities would pay 25% of the utilization payment in Namibia to Namgomar Pesca Namibia, which they introduced into operation to steer the method, with the remaining to be paid in Dubai to an organization belonging to Hatuikulipi known as Tundavala Investments.