Fishrot is a game-changer; accept it

One way people wiggle out of making substantive changes is to pretend that nothing serious has happened. The Swapo members of parliament are complaining about the Opposition pounding them with unending references to Fishrot. Their objections make it appear as if they wish to stick their heads in the sand.

Namibia pre-Fishrot is not the same as the country post-Fishrot. Any Swapo MP that does not ‘get’ this is living in denial.

The shocking and disappointing reality of the scandal is a huge thing. It exposed major theft, lies, and manipulation within the top leadership of the government of Namibia. High-powered cronies associated with not one, but TWO former ministers were neck-deep in the debacle. There is no denying this.

Unindicted co-conspirators are assumed to be many, albeit to varying degrees. If the men currently in jail begin talking as their bail applications fail and they tire of lock-up, certainly other names and evidence could be forthcoming. The entire ugly thing could grow even larger. Those tired of hearing about Fishrot should buckle up, more is coming.

For years before Fishrot, accusations of corruption have plagued the government. Apocryphal stories about ‘Connected people’ making backdoor deals are rife. Anyone with a ‘connection’ is assumed to be cashing in on one level or another. A lackadaisical ACC that moves at a snail’s pace most of the time is viewed as ineffective.

All of these issues came to the fore when former fisheries minister Esau was caught on camera for the whole world to see. He was apparently selling his credibility and the nation’s wealth. He requested a cell phone with two sim cards, Swapo t-shirts and caps and tens of millions of dollars. It tainted the Swapo party’s image and opened blindly loyal eyes; many were very disappointed. Those who had been pointing the finger of corruption for many years did a victory dance.

The whistle-blower’s comments that caused fall-out in Iceland, has resonated around the world. The entire scandal is permanently embedded in Namibian contemporary history. There can be no inclinations towards revisionism. Shouting for silence about any mention of Fishrot makes matters worse. Rightly or wrongly, it looks as if people possibly touched by the matter in some way, want things swept under the rug.

The members of parliament tired of hearing Fishrot stories from their opponents must grow a thicker skin. They must brace themselves for a harsher onslaught. Once the court trial starts, it will get worse.

This is an election year. Those parties that have nothing to lose can put all they have into the battle. Therefore, the opposition bombards the ruling party with their take on Fishrot to get a ‘rise’ out of those who sit in the power positions. Gripes by Swapo MPs about constant Fishrot commentary plays the opposition’s game.

Those same parties dropping ‘fishrot’ bombs have not offered their counter budget. They have not spoken about how they would lower the GDP/Debt Ceiling ration or the GINI Coefficient. They have not spoken about their specific housing crisis plan. they have not spoken about how they would handle the pandemic. They are launching the fishrot salvos in lieu of substantive plans that could be open to criticism.

Consider this example: In the bush, the only thing two hungry wild dogs can do is nip at the heels of the huge, male African buffalo. Even working together, they pose no real threat to the life of the alpha male buffalo. A pack of wild dogs would be quite formidable but in this example, there are only two of them.

But, if the Buffalo wastes energy chasing off and attempting to head-butt the quick and dextrous wild dogs, it will become tired-out faster. It could then be hurt more seriously if it is caught resting or in a more vulnerable seated position.

Let the members of Parliament focus on saving the country from economic disaster. Fishrot is now a part of contemporary Namibian history. The trial is upcoming where more will be revealed. Demanding that your opponents stop talking about it is fruitless and counter-productive.

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