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Govt blocked Oukwanyama fishing quotas

Written by on July 1, 2024

… Oukwanyama queen has not been getting her dividends regularly

The fisheries and marine resources ministry has questioned the management of a company co-owned by the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority after concerns about alleged irregular transactions and transfers of shares to private individuals.

The ministry subsequently blocked the issuing of fishing quotas to the company after it failed to correct the alleged irregularities, including the transfer of shares in a company that involves well-known individuals and a church leader.

The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority has a 20% stake in a company called Queen Kaleinasho Fishing, an entity that was started to benefit the Oukwanyama Kingdom. The company is co-owned by Oukwanyama queen Martha Nelumbu.

However, there have been concerns about how profits from the company have been used and the transfer of shares.

It is alleged that the Oukwanyama queen has not been receiving her dividends on a regular basis, with the exception of some payments and a vehicle purchased for her a decade ago.

The company holds fishing quotas of horse mackerel, monk and seals quota since 2012.

The dispute began in December 2023 when the fisheries ministry contacted the company about these issues.

Despite fisheries minister Derek Klazen’s visit to Oukwanyama palace on 27 May this year, the matter remains unresolved and questions still linger.

Annely Haiphene


Fisheries ministry executive director Annely Haiphene wrote to Queen Kaleinasho’s managing director, Gerson Nehemia, in March last year.

In her letter, Haiphene requested Nehemia to provide a copy of a motivation for a change in the shareholding structure and resolutions of the company after the death of Hilya Nelulu and the resignation of late Nestory Denis from the ministry.

“Provide evidence of the persons approved as a representative of Oukwanyama Traditional Authority waiving 10% shares of the traditional authority,” Haiphene wrote.

She also asked for proof of the approved shareholding structure by the minister responsible for fisheries and marine resources.

Haiphene said the company must engage with Oukwanyama Traditional Authority senior headman George Nelulu, who is the executor of his wife’s estate on the dividends due to the estate and nomination of a person to take up the shares.

She said if there was a need to amend the shareholding structure, the company must motivate and seek the minister’s approval first.

She also said a resolution signed by all shareholders should accompany the request for approval.

Haiphene wrote to the company and Queen Kaleinasho in December last year, informing them that they would get an allocation of horse mackerel quota for 2024, pending the company resolving the issues of concern and submitting an updated report within the three months.

The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority initially held 20% shares in the company, however, the shares were reportedly reduced to 10%.

At the time, the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority’s shares were reduced to 10%, the stakes of some shareholders increased.

These are retired Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (Elcin) Apollos Kaulinge who previously got 9%.

His shares increased by 2%.

Another three percent was given to Edward Family Trust.

Indila Family Trust was not part of the company from its inception. This family trust is linked to the company’s chairperson, Indila Edward, while another 3% went to the company’s managing director, Gerson Nehemia.

Both Nehemia and Edward are shareholders in the company, who at the inception of the company held 9% stake each.

At the same time, former Namibian high commissioner to Botswana Hadino Hishongwa assumed shareholding in the company.

Hishongwa, who was also a senior headman within Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, was allocated 11%.

Asked how his shares changed from 9% to 11%, Kaulinge said “ask the founders of the company.”

Oukwanyama Traditional Authority chairperson Elias Waandja told The Namibian that the portion of 10% was held by some shareholders in the company.

The shares were distributed among some shareholders in the companies and their families.

“When the minister was here on 27 May 2024, he said the 10% will be returned to the traditional authority,” Waandja said.

However, Waandja remained tight-lipped on whether Oukwanyama Traditional Authority would seek compensation for the lost profits during the period the portion of the shares were missing.


Documents seen by The Namibian show that other shareholders in the company are Ester Nakale, who holds 9% stake, Oukwanyama Queen Martha Mwadinomho yaKristian Nelumbu with 12% and retired Anglican Church bishop Nehemia Hamupembe has 9%.

Late Hilya Nelulu had 9%.

Hilya was the wife of George Nelulu.

Others are Martha Ephraim with 5% and ex-combatant Denis Nestory.

The Namibian is informed that the dividends to Oukwanyama Traditional Authority were intended to benefit the Ovakwanyama people.

A source close to Oukwanyama palace says since 2012 when the quotas were allocated, Oukwanyama Traditional Authority has been paid based on 10%.

The source says Nelumbu has also not been getting her dividends consistently.

“About 10 years ago, the company bought Meekulu (Nelumbu) a vehicle. Sometimes, instead of giving her her dividends, they pay for her fuel expenses. This is wrong,” the source says.

Oukwanyama is not the only party affected by the irregular share distribution.

Late Nestory Denis’s brother Nelson Denis, who is the alleged executor of his late brother Nestory Denis’ estate, says he only discovered in 2021 that his brother held a 9% shares in Queen Kaleinasho.

He says the company did not inform the family about Nestory’s shares in the company. Nestory died in 2014.

“I am the executor of my brother’s estates but I only learnt about my brother’s shares in Queen Kaleinasho in 2021 through someone,” Denis says.

He says that upon discovery, he approached the ministry of fisheries that year and he, Indila and Gerson Nehemia were called to a meeting at the ministry’s headquarters in Windhoek.

He says the ministry withheld the quota.


The company chairperson, Indila Edward, says shares were not stolen, as the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority holds shares in another fishing company and it was not supposed to hold shares in two companies.

He says while the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority holds shares in two companies, other traditional authorities have not benefited.

He asks why those complaining about how the late Hishongwa came into the company are only complaining after his death.

“Why are they not mentioning good things that we have done, like buying Meekulu (Nelumbu) a car?” Edward asks.

He says former senior headman Hadino Hishongwa is the late Nestory Denis’ uncle.

Nestory Denis was a shareholder in the company. He died in 2014, while Hishongwa died last year.

“Nelson is just an executor. Now he wants Nestory’s share, doesn’t Nestory have children of his own?” Edward asks.

He accused Nelson of holding shares in another fishing company.

Councillor Nelulu also says after the death of his wife in 2017, he was only paid the dividends of his wife three times.

“They did not give me anything [more] . . . It’s four years now,” Nelulu told The Namibian.

He says since he was not getting the dividends, he wanted to sell the shares.

“They told me they sent my wife’s shares to a lawyer and they will pay my dividends there,” Nelulu says.

Nelulu says that until today, he has not been told the name of the lawyer.

He says when Klazen came to Oukwanyama last month, he said in a meeting that he was only there to deal with the issue of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority’s shares.

“We are saddened. I want my wife’s dividends. They can’t inherit my wife,” Nelulu says.

The post Govt blocked Oukwanyama fishing quotas appeared first on The Namibian.

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