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Pohamba's Chinese stance disappoints.

Dear Sir,

I want to express my serious disappointment in President Hifikepunye Pohamba. During his visit to the Etunda Irrigation Scheme near Ruacana in the Omusati Region on 14 March, he said it was a shame for black Namibian business people to complain about the exploitations committed by the presence of Chinese business people in the country, while they are the ones who gave the guns to SWAPO during the liberation struggle.

President Pohamba demanded to know why business people are silent on the presence of South African business people in Namibia, while these are the people who exploited Namibians before independence.

He singled out the owners of South African companies such as Game, Shoprite, Standard Bank and First National Bank (FNB), as the foreigners who need to be condemned. The President said "money has become sweet to Namibian business people and as such, it changed their minds to start disliking people that supported them to gain the independence of the country."

I want to ask the President this: "Your Excellency, the President, was there an agreement between the Chinese government and SWAPO to provide us with arms and in return they would be granted land and trading opportunities in Namibia?"

The South African companies provide better and permanent jobs for Namibians. They sell guaranteed quality products while our Chinese counterparts are oppressing our people and are importing, manufacturing or selling fake products.

They are paying our people less than the minimum wage while they work long hours, including weekends and public holidays. Should you purchase anything from the Chinese shops, you can't return it if you are dissatisfied as there is no guarantee.

All the major government tenders, including a N$38, 6 million tender for renovations was awarded to China Jiangsu International. My heart bleeds for my fellow countrymen in the construction industry which are being sidelined by the very government which is supposed to take care of them.

China Jiangsu International has also won a N$59 million tender to construct the new offices of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Qingdao Construction has won a N$55 million tender to construct the new office of the former President of Namibia, Dr. Sam Nujoma and another tender worth N$59,8 million. Jiangsu Zhengtai Construction won a N$60.9 million tender; China Jiangsu International Namibia has won a N$57, 3 million tender; Chinam Landscaping and Construction has won a N$52, 1 million tender and New Era Investment has won a tender worth N$220 million.

Does that mean all Namibian construction companies do not have the capacity to do the job?

South African Companies in Namibia employ thousands of Namibians and pay better salaries, better than the Chinese whom you are defending. If the South African employers exploit their local employees, they can be reported and be dealt with ac cording to Namibian labour laws. The Chinese seem to be above the Namibian laws.

The President's reasoning for his pro-Chinese and anti-South African stance does not hold water. It is not only China who helped us during the liberation struggle. There are many countries around the globe that helped us at that time, including Cuba, Angola, Zambia, Tanzania, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Cameroon and Nigeria. There is no logic in selling your principles because someone has assisted or offended you in the past in one way or another. This retrogressive mentality is what delays Namibia to develop at a reasonable speed.

If Chinese business people want to operate businesses in our country, they must follow and respect our laws.

Kaseven ka Aipinge

Windhoek

Letter shortened. Ed
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Speak your mind!!!
Author:ka Aipinge, Kaseven
Publication:Namibia Economist (Windhoek, Namibia)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Geographic Code:6NAMI
Date:Apr 1, 2011
Words:598
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