By Sakeus Iikela

Bernadus Swartbooi

Landless People’s Movement leader Bernadus Swartbooi says the alleged ‘Fishrot Files’ culprits must be put under strict VIP protection until all investigations into the fishing quotas scandal is concluded.

Swartbooi said former justice minister Sakeus Shanghala and his former fisheries counterpart Bernhard Esau must be kept under strict police watch until they reveal all public officials who were their alleged accomplices in the fishing quota scheme in which they are claimed to have enriched themselves.

Swartbooi said if Esau, Shanghala and other accused are released from custody, he feared their lives could be under threat from other people who benefited from the alleged fishing quota scheme that led to their arrests.

The former ministers and four co-accused who were arrested on Wednesday are being accused of having benefited from a fishing quota scheme that generated kickbacks of about N$150 million that was paid to several people.

“They must not be given bail because they are a danger to themselves and they could be killed. For their own protection, they must not be given bail,” Swartbooi said.

He added that “Shanghala must not go down alone, he must expose all of the people who have benefited and continue to benefit from these corrupt deals”.

He made these remarks on Friday during a press briefing at which he also accused the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and Swapo of rigging the outcome of the national polls.

Swartbooi claimed he was reliably informed that there were foreign nationals who were brought into the country to manipulate the outcome of the elections.

He claimed the LPM uncovered a plot by the ruling party and the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) to allocate National Assembly seats to political parties.

“Votes are being increased in favor of Swapo and Geingob and reduced for other candidates. For example, apparently Swapo won Erongo region, but according to our calculations, [Panduleni] Itula has the majority as the presidential candidate,” he said.

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