Menzies Aviation’s lies and conspiracy theories

Niël Terblanché

Claims by Menzies Aviation Namibia about releasing critical lifesaving medical supplies for the Namibia Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) from its locked-up air cargo warehouse at the Hosea Kutako International Aiport (HKIA) were exposed as blatant lies.

The United Kingdom-based company, in a press statement issued on Tuesday, claimed to have released crucial medical supplies about an hour before the actual event occurred.

Dan Kamati, the spokesperson of the Namibia Airports Company stated that he was made aware of the publication of the press release shortly after a court ordered mediation process between NAC, Menzies Aviation and Paragon Aviation Services about the release of some vital goods from the air cargo warehouse, was completed.

The mediation process was held before High Court Judge Shafimane Ueitele, where it was provisionally agreed between the parties to release the vital medical supplies from the air cargo warehouse that has remained locked since Menzies was evicted from the airport.

In another bizarre twist of reality, the Menzies officials arrived at the airport with waybills and import documents that did not match in the slightest, the corresponding documentation held by Namibian customs and excise officials for the release of the critical medical supplies.

While under the strict supervision of customs officials, none of the Menzies personnel could find or identify any of the purported critical medical supplies in the frozen goods freezers of the air cargo warehouse.

Menzies did not offer any explanation as to what the fate of the critical medical supplies that should have been in the freezers, was on Tuesday.

This sequence of events has raised suspicions that the urgency surrounding the release of vital medical supplies during the mediation process was merely a pretext to gain access to the air cargo warehouse.

On Wednesday, Menzies insinuated in a new statement that the medical supplies must have been removed from the freezing facilities by an unknown person since the morning of 19 August 2023 when the company were refused entrance to the airport. The consignment of crucial medical supplies, according to the company, might even still be in the air cargo warehouse.

“Regrettably therefore, we have to inform that even this critical arrangement which was made by Menzies in the public interest in respect of life-saving blood reagents, was denied by Paragon and the NAC,” Menzies said in their latest media statement.

With regard to the mismatched waybill numbers, the company claimed that it is obvious that the real consignment is still locked up – or was removed from the warehouse.

Menzies Aviation Namibia’s presence at HKIA was also addressed during the mediation process.

Menzies claimed that they were dispossessed of portions of the airport since 19 August 2023, but denied being evicted, contradicting the claims made by Paragon and NAC.

According to Menzies, they were prevented from entering the airport by NAC and Paragon, who allegedly used the Deputy Sherriff and Namibian Police to enforce the blockade.

Menzies argued that had they been evicted, they would have been able to remove their belongings from the airport and hand over all cargo to lawful consignees.

The company claimed that the NAC and Paragon obstructed the execution of the court order they claimed to rely on, potentially acting in contempt of the very court order they sought to enforce.

The situation has already raised questions about the impact the ongoing dispute has had on the nation and the national economy while it appears that all other consignees will have to wait until the matter is eventually finalised before the mediator.

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