Alweendo denies corruption allegations on petroleum licenses issuance

Tom Alweendo

The minister of mines and energy, Tom Alweendo, on Tuesday denied allegations levelled against him that he has corruptly awarded petroleum licenses to a close friend.

This comes after a letter shared on social media earlier this year alleged maladministration and corruption in the mines ministry by a certain Louis Beauvais, who claims to be representing shareholders of French multinational, TotalEnergies.

However, Alweendo at the time refuted the allegations, saying the letter does not look legitimate, adding that the oil company was unable to confirm receipt of the letter which it purportedly wrote.

The letter alleges that the appointment of petroleum commissioner Maggy Shino was done corruptly, while a company named Zambezi Exploration has been treated favourably regarding its oil block application.

Last week Landless People’s Movement (LPM) deputy leader Henny Seibeb questioned Alweendo in parliament about another article which surfaced on social media in early February, stating that a certain Dr Eino Mvula, an acquaintance of Alweendo, had been awarded a 5% interest in a petroleum exploration licence.

Seibeb claimed that Alweedo has reportedly known Mvula since 2017, which prompted his questions.

Responding to Seibeb’s questions in parliament on Tuesday, Alweendo said that allegations of corruption on his part are vehemently and unambiguously rejected.

“Honourable speaker, my abhorrence for corruption has not changed, and it is not about to change. Therefore, the allegations of corruption on my part are vehemently and unambiguously rejected,” Alweendo said.

Alweendo said the assertion that he has corruptly awarded an oil exploration licence to a company owned by someone who is his friend, is a serious allegation.

“I sincerely thank those who are courageous enough to call out corruption, especially when committed by those of us in positions of power and influence. We know of horrendous stories of corruption around the world that are connected to the exploitation of natural resources, especially so in the oil sector,” he said.

He added, “I need to inform this august house and the Namibian people at large that, as per the provisions of section 11 of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act, the minister does not receive any application for petroleum licences, but rather the petroleum commissioner.”

He said all applications for oil and gas licenses are received by the petroleum

“In this respect, it is the petroleum commissioner who receives, evaluates and then recommends to the minister to either award or reject an application,” he said.

Alweendo said to minimise the risk of collusion between the minister and the commissioner, they have instituted a Licensing Evaluation Committee to assist the commissioner.

The committee consists of officials from the petroleum department and is chaired by the petroleum commissioner.

“As an added measure of checks and balances, the committee makes its recommendations
to the minister through the executive director. Honourable speaker, under normal circumstances, the process I just described is such that the minister is not able to know who has applied until a
recommendation is made to him or her,” Alweendo explained.


Alweendo said that Titan Oil and Gas is a Namibian registered company, which has a minority participating interest in two petroleum exploration licenses, namely PEL98 and PEL 106.

“In addition, Namcor also has a minority participating interest in the two licenses. PEL98 was awarded in February 2021 to Eco Oil and Gas Services, a Namibian-registered company, while PEL 106 was awarded in December 2022 to Oranto Petroleum, a Nigerian-registered company,” he said.

The minister stated that the applicants in both licenses were not Titan, but Eco Oil and Gas in the case of PEL98 and Oranto Petroleum in the case of PEL 106.

“Hence the licenses were awarded to Eco Oil and Oranto Petroleum, and not to Titan as it is alleged. In both cases, the award was made to the applicants after the applications were handled in exactly the same manner and process as I explained above,” Alweendo added.

Alweendo said the Licensing Evaluation Committee evaluated the applications and found it worthy of awarding the two licenses and made its recommendation accordingly.


Alweendo encouraged local companies to enter into joint ventures with foreign companies with the requisite capability when applying for petroleum exploration licenses.

“Petroleum exploration is a highly capital-intensive process and as such, most local companies are not able to raise the funds needed to carry out exploration on their own,” he said.

“It is, however, an absurdity to assume that just because a person is known to the minister or is a friend of the minister, his or her participation is only on account of the minister’s meddling influence,” he said.

According to Alweendo, throughout his professional career, he always spoke out against corruption and promoted good governance.

“As an example, the Bank of Namibia where I spent 16 years of my career at the helm of the institution, is today the epitome of good governance, where there is zero tolerance for corruption,” he said.

The minister said corruption in all its manifestations is abhorrent and repugnant and must be rejected by all, regardless of who is involved in it.

“Let us all join forces to ensure that our nascent petroleum sector is managed honourably, so that the economic benefits accrue to all Namibians fairly and equitably,” he concluded.

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