We are not xenophobic
02 July 2020 | Opinion
While we agree fully with NEFF on the assertion that Namibians must come first, especially on opportunities where we possess capacity and expertise to deliver, we fundamentally disagree with calls for xenophobia against the Chinese – or anyone for that matter. NEFF is barking up the wrong tree because the Chinese did not award themselves the public tenders they have. To attack the Chinese while those who gave them the tenders are left to rest their arms on their stuffed bellies is a misplaced approach. The real issue that NEFF is ducking like scared schoolboys is that Namibian leaders are at the forefront of this perceived exclusion of locals, so there is no need to attack the Chinese for simply accepting work handed to them. They are in business, after all. Since 1990, Namibians have worked tirelessly to rebuild their country and to reverse the legacy of discrimination. Our progressive constitution outlaws any form of discrimination, including on the basis of nationality. Xenophobia is thus not only unconstitutional but is also un-Namibian. We must pile pressure on the Geingob administration to review its outlook on local contractors, while continuing to build a society free of discrimination.
We are doing so because we know the pain of being discriminated against because of skin colour, language or nationality.