Menzies Aviation (Namibia), the former cargo handling company at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA), has allegedly refused to comply with a Namibia Revenue Agency (Namra) urgent request to hand over cargo for direct release to the owners.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) chief executive, Bisey Uirab said:
“It is disheartening that despite NAC and Namra’s concerted efforts to persuade Menzies to hand over cargo to Namra for Namra to release it to entities and/or individuals that own such cargo, Menzies has thus far not complied with all requests in this regard.”
Menzies has been holding on to the cargo since its eviction from the airport on 18 August.
The company was initially requested to hand over the cargo to Paragon Aviation Services, which took over ground handling operations on 19 August.
The latest conflict began when Namra sent a formal letter to Menzies on 7 September, requesting inventory lists and manifests for all imported or exported cargo entered before 19 August.
This request was aimed at streamlining customs clearance and facilitating the release of the cargo to the rightful owners.
NAC also implored Menzies to comply with Namra’s request and encouraged the cargo-handling company to work closely with Namra’s customs and excise officials.
NAC further facilitated communication between the parties and scheduled a meeting for 16h00 on Tuesday at HKIA for the handover of the cargo.
Despite these efforts, Menzies allegedly failed to appear at the airport on the date and time agreed upon, leaving Namra officials waiting until the airport’s closing time at 21h30 on Tuesday night.
This prompted NAC to inform Menzies that Namra officials would return to HKIA at 08h00 on Wednesday to resume the handover process.
Menzies’ non-compliance has left both NAC and Namra frustrated.
For weeks, Menzies has maintained that it cannot hand over the cargo in its warehouse to any third party.
“Menzies has an obligation to its consignors and consignees to distribute the critical cargo supplies itself and urgently. Menzies will continue to comply with the rule of law, and carries the wider public interests of all Namibians at heart,” said Menzies.