Fishing rights applications a big "political joke"

13 September 2018 | Menings

It was exemplary from the Government's side to open up the applications for fishing rights for transparency. However, the end results have proven the other way around.

By now, we know already what the final outcome is going to be and in whose favour. As usually, politics has taken its toll again.

The whole exercise was supposed to be at the end of next year 2019, but it was deliberately changed for political reasons and political favours.

In the Namibian Sun of Tuesday, 4th September 2018 it is reported that Bipa has received 26 911 applications between June 2018 and August 2018. Now, how did the figure come down to 5 176 or so?

I am adamant that Bipa should take full responsibility for their incapacity to deal with the process, because people are going to be disadvantaged economically. People have applied, simply because they had hope in the fairness of the exercise, which is no more the case.

Bipa has given acknowledgement letters to the prospective new companies to accompany their applications. As far as I am concerned, all those applications are incomplete and are going to be disqualified.

Once the Pty registrations are completed one day, who is going to put in the approved Pty registration certificates into those over 5 000 applications? Is that practically possible and to make things worse, there are no good standing certificates from the Finance Ministry, the Social Security Commission and the Equity Commission etc. Who is going run around with those outstanding applications of those companies as well as the shareholders certificates of those companies?

These companies were very serious with their applications for which they have paid hundreds of thousands of Namibian dollars to consultants. The exercise has make the already poor citizens poorer by robbing them of the last penny to their disposal.

The Government's ideology was very good to give them a chance to apply, but the playing field was not leveled equally. So, all in all it makes the whole process zero.

Secondly, it was not easy to fill out those application forms, as it is too technical for an ordinary hungry layman.

The application process should have been limited to the regions and preliminary selection should have been done in the regions. When it comes to the actual process of selection, the Selection Committee should look at old and new companies from the various regions; whether the applications are from the landlocked regions; whether the inhabitants of that region were disadvantaged by previous fishing rights holders who applied in the names of churches, communities and individuals etc.

I would suggest that the number of fishing rights from harbour towns should be drastically decreased in order to give a chance to other regions, viz. Otjozunjupa, Oshikoto, Omaheke and towns such as Köes, Vaalgras, Aroab and Karasburg etc. We are not going to accept the outcome of those applications, as we know the outcome already well in advance and will challenge it in court at whatever costs.



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