Chewing on the tobacco politics

21 June 2019 | Opinion

There has been much ado about the envisaged Chinese-backed Zambezi tobacco project since it was first mooted many years ago.

This week secretary to cabinet, George Simataa, was at pains to explain why government has now given the green light for the initiative.

He said this was due to the envisaged socio-economic benefits it would bring to the region and Namibia at large.

Simaata said the project is anticipated to create 7 120 permanent jobs, as well as temporary jobs during harvesting seasons.

He added the 10 000 hectares will be subdivided into 2 500 hectares each and be utilised on a rotational basis for maize, animal fodder, tobacco and the construction of factories, offices and operational units, such as warehouses, a water reservoir of 60 000 cubic metres, accommodation facilities, a clinic, a school and roads within the plantation.

Among the objectors are former health ministers, the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement and the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN), with the latter calling on cabinet to “rethink” its approval.

CAN said it had cited concerns, such as the severe consequences for the environment and the people of Namibia.

It said further that the project contravenes agreements concluded with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Largely lost in the smokey haze has been the role of prominent politicians in the saga.

Swapo Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu is the local partner in Namibia Oriental Tobacco, while land reform minister Utoni Nujoma apparently facilitated a cabinet presentation by the Chinese investors in June last year.

Although Amukwiyu is widely believed to have had a fallout with President Hage Geingob and his faction ahead of the 2017 Swapo congress, where he stood for the Team Swapo camp against Sophia Shaningwa, who was the president’s candidate for SG, they both still represent ruling party interests.

It is therefore inescapable that the politics behind the tobacco project is either a reconciliation or members of both camps lighting up to benefit.

Similar News

 

Let us tread carefully

15 hours ago | Opinion

When expectations are not met, citizens wronged in this regard should have channels, means and ways to air their grievances and have them addressed effectively.In...

When accountability gathers dust

1 day - 16 July 2019 | Opinion

In August 2014, just months before the election that swept President Hage Geingob to power, commentators bemoaned the fact that outgoing head of state Hifikepunye...

Shedding light on the crime battle

2 days ago - 15 July 2019 | Opinion

Nored’s intervention, which saw two high-mast lights being installed at Rundu’s Ndama location, should be commended. Rundu is among the country’s towns that are dangerous...

Swapo does Hage no favours

5 days ago - 12 July 2019 | Opinion

Much has been said and written about Katrina Hanse-Himarwa’s corruption conviction and her subsequent resignation as education minister.For now she remains a Swapo MP in...

It’s time to smell the coffee

6 days ago - 11 July 2019 | Opinion

In December 2015, then Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) director of elections, Paul Isaak, told Nampa in an interview the commission would be using electronic...

A birthright for a song

1 week ago - 10 July 2019 | Opinion

Like the proverbial biblical Esau who sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of steaming hot lentil stew, Namibia still finds...

We should make every effort

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | Opinion

We are in full agreement with the Namibia National Farmers’ Union that government should open up all the closed water points in the communal areas....

An open letter to the Municipality of Windhoek

1 week ago - 05 July 2019 | Opinion

By Festus U. Muundjua I am writing to respond and to correct the wrong information fed to the New Era of Friday 3...

Are we reforming the United Nations or maintaining the...

1 week ago - 05 July 2019 | Opinion

By Alexactus T. KaureReforming the UN is a topic which is on everybody's lips nowadays. At the centre of the debate is the UN Security...

Healing the African family

2 weeks ago - 03 July 2019 | Opinion

International Organisation for Migration (IOM) regional director for west and central Africa, Richard Danziger, describes migration as the defining issue of this century. One billion...

Latest News

Keeping up with the neighbours

15 hours ago | Economics

LuandaYou would need around US$2 535.97 in Windhoek to maintain the same standard of living that you can have with US$7 600 in Luanda, assuming...

88 schoolgirls fall pregnant in...

15 hours ago | Education

Eighty-eight learners, including two girls in Grade 7, fell pregnant in the Oshana Region during the first term of 2019. Oshana governor Elia Irimari...

Stop blaming Aawambo - Kapofi

15 hours ago | Government

Home affairs minister Frans Kapofi has cautioned against tribalism and pointed out that there is a growing perception that only the Aawambo are beneficiaries of...

Mom begs for mercy

15 hours ago | Justice

A mother of three minor children is asking the High Court to reduce her four-year prison sentence, or fine her instead, after she pleaded guilty...

Relevant IFRS themes: Anytime, anywhere

15 hours ago | Business

A good understanding of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is crucial to the financial reporting process of IFRS reporters. Banks and Insurers in particular have...

Standard Bank faces strike vote

15 hours ago | Labour

ELVIRA HATTINGH Members of the Bank Workers Union of Namibia (Bawon) are to vote on whether to strike...

Let us tread carefully

15 hours ago | Opinion

When expectations are not met, citizens wronged in this regard should have channels, means and ways to air their grievances and have them addressed effectively.In...

Big banks target South Africa's...

15 hours ago | Business

Emma Rumney - South Africa's biggest banks are betting cut-price accounts, big mortgages and offers on everything from Adidas backpacks to Xboxes will help them...

Zim inflation almost doubles, stirring...

15 hours ago | Economics

MacDonald Dzirutwe and Karin Strohecker - Prices of cooking oil and other basics soared in Zimbabwe as inflation nearly doubled in June, piling pressure on...

Load More