Staff Writer

Fisheries minister Albert Kawana has hit back at allegations that he awarded fishing rights to his son under the on-going government fishing rights allocation to new applicants.

According to social media allegations, the minister awarded his unnamed son, five of the best species as fishing rights, three Hake rights and two Monk rights.

A furious Kawana said the allegations which have been circulating on social media were politically motivated.

“That information you are asking about just came to my attention as I have been out of Khomas. I can tell you it’s coming from people with a political agenda,” he said.

“I have been accused of all sort of things and I had the opportunity to clear them in Parliament.”

He said it was worrying that despite efforts by his Ministry to make the rights allocation process transparent, accusations continued to be levelled against him.

“That is totally rubbish and nonsensical. Why can’t these people verify what they are saying? Company records are accessible at the Business and Intellectual Property Authority,” the minister said.

He said intervention measures by his ministry into the operations of Henties Bay-based seal harvesting company, where his ministry took a decision, which was approved by cabinet to allocate the company a larger quota to retain jobs after the company was threatening to close due to recent losses.

“My involvement in that was trying to ensure that we save jobs as the company is one of the biggest employers in the town. We recommended that they team up with the National Youth Service (NYC) and an agreement is in process,” he said.

This comes as the minister told local media that the allocation of fishing rights to new applicants should be completed by February and the process to allocate fishing rights was almost done, a process he said had been delayed due to COVID-19.

This comes as over 5,000 applications were submitted in 2018 by various entities to be considered for fishing rights.

Already the government has entered into a jobs-for-fishing-quotas agreement with six companies on condition they absorb over 1,300 fishermen unemployed due to the fraud and lost quotas of their previous employers related to the Fishrot scandal.