Namibia: Overfishing fears, storm over Geingob’s festival "snub" grab headlines

APA-Windhoek (Namibia)

Overfishing fears, a drug bust at the national carrier and an uproar over the alleged snub of a cultural festival by President Hage Geingob were the main stories in the Namibian press on Friday.

The Namibian reported that Fisheries Minister Bernhard Esau ignored advice from his officials and is pressing ahead with the allocation of fishing quotas for pilchard, a species declared as “depleted” and in danger of extinction from Namibian waters.

Insiders at the fisheries ministry told The Namibian that Esau wanted Cabinet to approve the fishing of pilchard which is the most lucrative species in the fishing sector despite warnings from scientists in his ministry.

The report claimed that Esau wanted to propose that 14,000 metric tonnes of pilchard be harvested for the 2017 fishing season.

And his motive, sources told the paper, is driven mainly by pressure from people who are lobbying him to make as much cash in the shortest time as possible.

National flag carrier, Air Namibia, has found its livery dragged into the mud after one of its cabin attendants was caught trafficking drugs.

The incident, which took place in December 2016 and had seemingly gone unnoticed by the media, occurred on a flight to Frankfurt, according to state-owned New Era.

The issue came to light after some of Air Namibia’s staff members accused the airline of attempting to hide the incident to save itself embarrassment in the market.

Air Namibia has however denied the allegations, telling New Era that it has taken decisive action against the employee.

In a new twist, New Era said contrary to media reports alleging President Hage Geingob snubbed last year’s Damara Festival, the Presidency yesterday insisted the president made efforts to attend the event.

President Geingob, a Damara himself, incensed the Damara-speaking people for the last-minute cancellation of his attendance, only to be seen later dancing at a jazz festival in the capital.

But the presidency said the president cancelled his attendance at the 11th hour after realising that Chief Justus IIGaroeb of the Damara people is not recognised by the government as a traditional leader. 

Nonetheless, Damara Chiefs Council secretary general Abner Xoagub told the paper that the traditional authority is still awaiting a formal apology and directives from the presidency.


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