Deepening Fishrot prosecution positive for justice

AN application for a restraint order in terms of section 25 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 29 of 2004 (POCA) which was lodged by Prosecutor General (PG), Martha Imalwa in respect of the Fishrot scandal shows how the outgoing PG is shrugging off the toothless bulldog tag and ensuring that much needed justice prevails in this case that has prejudiced thousands of Namibians.

Imalwa who seeks to retrieve every penny looted in the Fishrot scandal, last week applied for a restraining order which seeks to secure and restrain realisable properties held by defendants of the Fishrot case and any property as held by the respondents to who defendants have directly or  indirectly made affected gifts as defined in section 17 and 22 of POCA which may further be utilised to satisfy a confiscation order that may be sought against the defendants in terms of section 32 of POCA in the near future.

In support of this move that will target the N$170 million that the Fishrot accused including former ministers, Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala are believed to have pocketed, Confidente this week also revealed that the directors of Samherji companies involved in the saga; Samherji’s chief accounting officer, Ingvar Juliusson and Esja Holdings managing director, Egill Arnason will face extradition from the State in order to face justice for corrupt activities that saw the companies under the now tainted Icelandic firm make in excess of N$570 million.

This is not all as indications from the lead investigator in the prosecution, Andreas Kanyangela show that Icelandic companies that benefitted from the Fishrot ‘loot’ will soon be charged by the State.

“There is reasonable grounds to believe that Esja Holdings, Mermaria Seafood, Saga Seafood and Esja Investments will be convicted inter alia of corrupt practices in contravention of section 34 of the Anti-Corruption Act, corruption practices in contravention of sections 46(b) read with sections 32, 34, 42(1), 43(1), 43(3), 49 and 51 of the Corruption Act, fraud, money laundering offences in terms of section 4 and 5 of POCA and racketeering offences in contravention of sections 2(1) and 2(2), 2(3), 2(4) and 2(5) of POCA,” Kanyangela says in an affidavit that he claims informed by investigations and testimonies from numerous witnesses.

It therefore goes without saying that the State has gone for broke in this particular prosecution contrary to misleading allegations that there has been a silent attempt by the same State, to change key personal in the investigation and prosecution process and install persons that would water down the prosecution and provide avenues for those accused to escape the jaws of justice.

This current application by the Prosecutor General also bears testimony to the expansive work those investigators at the Anti-Corruption Commission have ploughed in to ensure that revenue lost to the State and the taxpayers via this elaborate corruption scandal is accounted for.

As a publication that has performed a corruption watchdog role over the years, we are encouraged that the State has become aggressive in its quest for justice and in full affirmation of the adage: Justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done.