The Biden administration has designated former Namibian government officials Bernhardt Esau and Sakeus Shanghala as “significantly corrupt”, making them ineligible for entry into the United States. Members of Bernhardt Esau’s family, his wife, Swamma Esau, and his son, Philippus Esau, were also barred from entering the United States.
“We are announcing today the public designation of former Namibian government officials Bernhardt Esau and Sakeus Shanghala, due to their involvement in significant corruption,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Tuesday. “In their official capacities as Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources (Esau) and Minister of Justice (Shanghala), they were involved in corrupt acts that undermined rule of law and the Namibian public’s faith in their government’s democratic institutions and public processes, including by using their political influence and official power for their personal benefit.”
The Biden administration said the public designation was made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2021.
“This designation reaffirms the U.S. commitment to supporting anticorruption reforms that are key to Namibia’s successful future. The United States continues to stand with all Namibians in support of democracy and the rule of law, and against those who would undermine these principles for personal gain. The Department will continue to use authorities like this to promote accountability for corrupt actors in this region and globally,” the government added.