30 Aug 2015 19:20pm
SWAKOPMUND, 30 AUG (NAMPA) - President Hage Geingob on Friday ordered Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau to apologise for what he said about the late Abraham Iyambo, who previously served as fisheries minister.
Comrade Esau I have learnt about the nasty article in the newspapers. I want you to apologise about what you said. Sometimes journalists misquote us but if you know you have said it, you must apologise, the President said during a meeting with political and traditional leaders at Swakopmund on Friday.
An article in the Namibian newspaper last week said Esau accused some fishing companies such as Namsov Fishing Enterprises and the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) of using Iyambo. He said this will not happen with him.
Maybe they controlled the previous minister. We fought for this country and for the fair distribution of our resources. I was not born to cowards and I won't be a coward, Esau said.
The story developed from the National Council during the debate on the amendments to the Marine Resources Act of 2000 to give sole power to the minister in the allocation of fishing quotas.
Esau was responding to Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tarah Shaanika; NCCI vice president Sebby Kankondi; and lawyer Shakespeare Masiza, who called for transparency in the allocation of quotas and consultation before amendments are made to the fishing laws.
Responding to Geingobs order on Friday, the minister stood up and said I was forced to respond and I admit and apologise for going overboard. I did not intend to offend anyone for saying what he (Iyambo) did cannot be compared to what we are doing. May his soul rest in peace.
The story was not received well by members of the public, who sent text messages to the Namibian newspaper saying the minister was wrong to make such statements.
People said the late Iyambo should not be discussed as he is not here to defend himself.
Esau also repeated his apology when the President held a public meeting with members of the Swakopmund community at the Tamariskia Town Hall the same day.
I would like to take this opportunity to say sorry for what I said in the newspaper. May his soul rest in peace and let the struggle for economic emancipation continue, said the minister.
Iyambo died in February 2013.