The leader of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), McHenry Venaani, has called on President Nangolo Mbumba to look into the affairs of the fishing industry. 

Venaani made the remarks while joining the demonstration by the fishermen employed through the Government Employment Redress Programme, who handed over petitions to the Ministries of Labour, Industrial Relations, and Employment Creation and that of Fisheries at Walvis Bay.

"Why are we not speaking the languages of fairness? Let the companies make profits. I want them to make profits, but the workers get their fair share. But these things that you are telling us, no, these people did not have a job. Now we are paying them at home, so they must be happy. They were not even supposed to lose their jobs in the first place. So we are demanding President Mbumba, the President of our country, to take charge while the time is there."

Venaani expressed unhappiness because there is no long-term solution to the plight of these workers.

He says the affairs of the fishing industry need to be closely regulated to avoid instances of corruption. 

"Now we are wasting people's time. Petition on Petition. Why don't we come to the bottom line? So, Minister Derek Klazen, we are putting you on note. The way you handle the matter going forward will determine whether you should retain your position and confidence. At this point in time, I am putting a big question mark on your credibility in handling affairs at fisheries. We need political leadership that comes to the ground to try to resolve the problems."

The fishermen lost their jobs after an illegal industrial strike in 2015 and have been camping near the Kuisebmond Football Stadium at Walvis Bay for about five years.

Earlier last year, the Ministries of Fisheries and Labour signed an agreement with several fishing companies to provide full-time employment to the Okapale fishermen.

However, they are concerned about the conditions of employment following the agreement with the government under the Employment Redress Programme.

Contacted for a comment Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Derek Klazen says there is no corruption in his ministry.

He added that if Venaani was aware of anyone who was corrupt or partaking in corrupt practices, he should report it to the Anti Corruption Commission. 

Failing to report known corruption or corrupt activities anywhere makes one complicit in such crimes, he added. 

He concluded by saying Venaani's comments are empty political rhetoric consistent with global utterances close to national elections.

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Stefan |Uirab