Defence minister blasted over comments

The defence minister has been slammed for saying that the business sector, and not the government, had failed the country.

27 August 2020 | Business

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



Defence minister Peter Vilho has been blasted for criticising the business community during the Exercise Khan operation held by the military.

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) blasted the minister for comments he had made allegedly criticising the business community.

Vilho is accused of saying that the business sector, and not the government, had failed the country.

According to the PDM, the remarks made by the defence minister demonstrated recklessness as a public office bearer and the head of the security forces.

“It is our responsibility as leaders in the Namibian community to at all material times display and encourage a spirit of oneness in our attempt to achieve nationalism. Despite the many ills our people face, it is unfair to shift blame onto the business sector,” PDM party member Inna Hengari said.

According to Hengari, it is not the business sector but the government that has failed the country.

“The remark that the government has not failed the citizens of this country, but rather the business sector has, is undeniable evidence that it is the government that has failed in its duties to regulate businesses and ensure that our labour laws do actually protect ordinary Namibians from labour exploitation,” Hengari commented.

“It is not the business of government to run businesses and make profit, it is the business of government to ensure that whilst businesses are run for profit, they do not exploit workers' rights.

“Contrary to the defence minister's view, the economic conundrum we find ourselves in cannot only be attributed to selfish businesses, whose existence we remain cognisant of, but this failure should primarily be attributed to the government's failure to provide the institutional capacity to institutions whose mandate is to protect workers from exploitation,” Hengari said.

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