Namibia parks 'not sold to Chinese'

Audio recording sparks outrage

07 November 2019 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT



The environment ministry has refuted allegations that are circulating on social media that Namibia and its national parks have been “sold” to the Chinese.

According to ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda the allegations were made by an unknown person in audio recording in Oshiwambo that is circulating on several media platforms.

He said the recording also alleges that Chinese nationals are working in national parks in Namibia and that they are driving vehicles with government registration numbers.

Muyunda said the allegations made in the audio recording are completely false and devoid of any credibility.

“There are no Chinese nationals working in our national parks or game reserves, there are no ministerial/government vehicles being driven by Chinese nationals and our national parks have not been sold to the Chinese,” Muyunda said.

He added that Namibia has 20 national parks and all are fully owned by the government and run by the ministry.

He said all these allegations are pure fabrications and propaganda that aim to tarnish the image of the government.

Muyunda said the vehicle in question, GRN 31298, belongs to the ministry and is based at the Halali station in the Etosha National Park.

On 4 November the vehicle was driven to Tsumeb by a ranger working for the ministry on an officially sanctioned trip.

“This vehicle was never driven by any other person on the day of 4 November.”

Muyunda said the vehicle is part of a donation of 35 vehicles received from China, in support of the ministry’s conservation efforts.

He stressed that the donation was reported in the media and was officially received in a transparent manner.

“As per normal practices, the donating party may choose to display their logo on the donated items. In this case, the logo of China Aid and that of Namibia’s Parks and Wildlife are displayed on the doors of the donated vehicles.”

According to Muyunda the ministry has also received branded equipment and vehicles from other organisations and even drought food relief bears the name of the donor.

“There is nothing sinister about this arrangement.”

Muyunda said the ministry therefore rejects the allegations made in the recording and denounces the irresponsible behaviour of the individual in spreading lies and rumours against a specific group of people.