Bribery: A serious and deplorable crime

14 February 2020 | Opinion

Dr Ngarikutuke Tjiriange

Let me make it clear from the outset that when I am referring to foreigners in this article, it is not because I am against foreign nationals. I am referring only to those foreigners who apparently acquire Namibian national documents through bribery.

The bribery concerning national documents which has come to light in one of the local newspapers is a serious and extensively harmful development which can cause lasting dominance of foreigners in our society. This bribery scheme is not only taking place at the head office of the home affairs ministry in Windhoek but in other sub-offices as well, such as the one in Okahandja where two officials were arrested for illegally issuing Namibian national documents.

The population of our country is not so big and if we continue to illegally settle unpatriotic foreign elements who have no committed love for this country, and who only come here to survive off the resources of our motherland and the peace which prevails here, we are bound to destroy our own future.

Namibians must be people who love their country and are ready to defend and serve it well at any time. If people who are supposed to defend their country are the ones who involve themselves in activities which in the long run will make our country vulnerable to the desires of foreign forces aiming to settle here with dubious and suspicious motives, then our country is indeed in danger.

Many heroic sons and daughters sacrificed their lives for the liberation of their country, therefore we should not now or in the future sell our country to foreign forces which will settle here, outnumber us and then govern us and make laws for us to follow.

A loyal Namibian should not betray his or her people to foreign elements, risking our beloved land of the brave being turned into a nightmare.

All of us, Namibian people, must regard this issue as serious. I wonder how the men and women selling out our country for money still regard themselves as Namibians. The safety, security and stability of our future in Namibia is now being compromised and undermined by our own people.

It is up to us now, patriotic Namibians, to contribute to the noble cause of keeping our country and its people safe, maintaining peace and refraining from undermining the stability of the country by selling it to foreigners who have no strong patriotic feeling for it.

The guilty officials employed in the home affairs ministry form part of these syndicates and have been serving their personal interests at the expense of the country's security by accepting bribes in exchange for illegally issuing and selling our national documents.

For how long has this been happening? I've always wondered how foreign nationals manage to effortlessly obtain permanent residency in Namibia, only to open cuca shops and small businesses, while our laws clearly state requirements and categories for obtaining these documents.

The problem seems to be in the system itself, with some employees of the relevant ministries using loopholes and improperly organised system procedures to issue national documents. Improvements should be made to systems to clearly indicate where the national documents were issued, by whom and for what reason, purpose or justification. Under the present situation where so many foreigners are getting national documents fraudulently, the total population of real Namibians may even be overestimated and we may be even fewer in number than we are told. If the situation persists, our future will not be spared because the foreigners who do not care for the country may end up in positions of power and rule the way they want.

Some of these foreigners have already acquired land and Namibians have forfeited the right to land, which is supposed to be theirs to own and work on for themselves. Now Namibians have to work for foreigners on land that ought to be theirs. The selling of Namibian identification documents to foreigners is very dangerous and the security and peaceful existence of the country is under serious threat.

If we are not careful, the 30 years of peaceful independence we enjoyed may come to an end, and we may end up living in a country where we are not safe.

Disturbing unemployment

Another disturbing situation is that the unemployment rate in Namibia has drastically increased and stands at 33.40%. Many youth successfully completed their studies but find it difficult to get jobs. The Namibian Statistics Agency (NSA) revealed that 46.10% of the country's youth are unemployed. At the same time, foreigners are now obtaining national documents through bribing some unpatriotic government employees and then start competing with locals to get employment in the country on an equal basis with Namibians. It is indeed good that the home affairs ministry has expressed itself strongly on this issue.

It is time Namibians understand and appreciate the fact that Namibia is the only country that is ours, and even if they are in need of money, selling our country is not the right way. If anyone is guilty of doing this, it is the duty of all of us to bring the culprits to order.

If Namibians allow our country to be sold to foreign and unpatriotic individuals, not because they want to protect this country, we will go down and it may have devastating consequences for all of us.

No one can pretend to love his/her country and at the same time sell it out. The Bible says: “Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth”.

Namibia is not for sale!

*Ngarikutuke Tjiriange is a former Swapo secretary-general