Erongo regional governor, Cleophas Mutjavikua has denied accusations that he tampered with a list containing names of fishermen who lost their jobs in the infamous #fishrot scandal and who are set to be reinstated.

The fishermen lost their jobs during the tenure of jailed ex-fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau, in bribery and corrupt deals with an Icelandic company.

The list, was commissioned after President Hage Geingob ordered that the more than 1 000 fishermen be reinstated in their previous jobs, following revelations that they lost employment due to dubious deals in the fishing sector.

In audios circulating on different social media platforms, Mutjavikua is being accussed of removing names of some beneficiaries and allegedly replacing them with those of his relatives and friends.

However, the governor who also responded to the audios by recording his own audio, maintained that his accusers had no evidence of the allegations.

“They don’t have substantive evidence. What they are doing is to tell lies and make up stories”, he said in the WhatsApp audio.

Mutjavikua further said the process of the list is at the verification stage and that such list has been handed over to the relevant authorities.

“We are verifying all names submitted with different stakeholders including fishing companies and unions”, he stated.

Speaking to CND-News on Tuesday, the governor denied any wrongdoing and said his office does not have the authority to remove names.

“I do not have any power to remove names from the list,” he explained.

“Secondly, what are the names that had been removed? Can they provide the names publicly? The names given to the minister are available for reviewing at the Office of the Governor.”

Furthermore, Mutjavikua indicated that he is not aware of the number of beneficiaries to benefit through this initiative. 

He added that his office is just a transmission belt and not the final decision-making organ on the issue.

According to Mutjavikua, he has taken note of the many fishing companies closing overnight and told CND-News that the acting minister is working hard to ensure that fishermen are not left in the dark.

“We are taking note of the remnants of the #fishrot. One of the implicatted company is moving out regrettably unceremoniously. The acting minister will announce measures to deal with the ongoing unemployment challenges.”

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