One would have expected businesses to emulate the exemplary example set by President Hage Geingob who personally pledged N$250 000 to the war-chest established towards the national effort to assist the government to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus that has brought the world to a standstill.
With due respect, few businesses and others, namely; De Beers donated N$15 million while Swapo answered the clarion call but the majority retreated into their shells pretending not to have heard the patriotic call from the first citizen.
In as much as the donations are not compulsory, businesses should not always put profit before anything else. They have a lot to lose in the likely event Covid-19 exacts a grim toll on our population and causes untold misery as it has done in China, Spain, Italy and America.
The same applies to individuals who became rich after being granted fishing rights and quotas by the fisheries and marine resources ministry.
This specific group is notorious for paying lip service towards social responsibility programmes. It is gospel truth they merely gift crumbs to the destitute from their opulently rich-harvest-of-the-sea buffets.
They always ensure such short-term, free handouts are storified by media, complete with photos for added effect. Donating a few cans of fish and a few bottles of cooking oil or a few packets of salt or soup for that matter is pathetic to say the least. In times such as these, business, fishing right holders and others astride the profiteer bandwagon should come on board and make serious financial commitments to efforts such as the one initiated by Geingob so that the country boosts its health capacity, has enough drugs, has sufficient hand sanitisers, ventilators and all that is needed to contain the spread of this deadly virus.
Everyone should play their part because we do not know for how long this virus will disrupt our lives. We also do not know the long-term effects of Covid-19 that has upended the global social order. Coronavirus is a different kettle of fish as it knows no social strata, it has no respect for set geographic boundaries nor does it discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender or religious affiliation. On a different, but important note, some shops and businesses are exploiting consumers shamelessly and unfairly by increasing the prices of consumer goods. If anything, they should sell heavily discounted goods and should not exploit consumers.
Price gouging is the lack of consideration for consumers - akin to killing the goose laying the golden egg. This unethical practice deserves the strongest condemnation. Businesses should help ease the plight of consumers. Business and every Namibian should unite and put a united front against the coronavirus that threatens each one of us, it is a potent threat to the entire human race.