The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Albert Kawana, has said the process of dealing with applications for fishing rights has come to an end and results are expected at the end of March.
Kawana made these remarks while addressing the fishing industry in the Erongo Region in Swakopmund on Thursday.
“In the interest of transparency, which I committed myself to, we will make a public announcement and give information regarding how many applications were received and how many have been successful,” Kawana announced.
He noted that the applications were divided into two groups, which include companies who have been in operation for 20 years, which in terms of the law means these companies’ rights expire and need to re-apply, as well as new applicants.
“We will give you all these companies’ names as well of all those who have been successful,” he added.
The minister expressed dismay over allegations made against him and his ministry regarding the delay in completing the process that commenced in June 2020 despite the applications having been completed in 2018.
Kawana added that contrary to the corruption allegations on social media and some print media outlets, his ministry could not complete the process when it was expected due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic tied my hands in terms of applying my mind to those applications and due to the sensitivity and nature of these applications, they could not be taken home so that people could work from home. That information was restricted only to the ministry and the University of Namibia as the auditor, who was in fact the one who kept the hard copies of the applications. Only a few people had access to them,” Kawana said.
Source: Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA)