Swapo aiming to retain victory amid fish-rot scandal

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Timo Shihepo

Windhoek - Namibia’s ruling party, Swapo will hope to maintain or increase its two-thirds majority seats in parliament when the country heads for elections next week, but the corruption scandal which led to the resignation of two top ministers could have an impact on the outcome of the elections.

Swapo currently has a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly but the resignation of Minister of Fisheries, Bernard Esau and Justice Minister, Sacky Shanghala, over a corruption scandal in which the two are accused of having cost the country about R150 million in kickbacks, a week before elections, could have an impact on Swapo.

The two former ministers, alongside several Namibian businessmen, are accused of colluding with an Icelandic company to put over 700 people out of jobs, when the fishing quotas belonging to a company employing these people were slashed and given to a new company that allegedly paid millions to the two ministers.

The issue was exposed by Wikileaks in collaboration with Aljazeera.

The latest development even had Swapo and national President, Dr Hage Geingob, worried.

“There is a campaign to sabotage Swapo and my presidential plan. You got to question the timing of this expose,” he said.

Geingob, who has been urging all political opponents to play the ball rather than the man, said democracy should prevail in the coming elections.

“Of course, Swapo is going to win but you can see that the youths want the power. That’s fine. If they vote me out, I will go and rest but whatever happens, democracy should always prevail in Namibia,” he said.

Namibia is set for presidential and national elections next week on 27 November.

 

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