ONGWEDIVA – State-owned Namibian Development Corporation (NDC) has described as ‘indefensible’ but ‘isolated incident’ the lease of two of its stalls at the David Shikomba Complex in Ongwediva to two foreign nationals.
The two stalls are being leased to a Chinese and Nigerian.
This has infuriated some locals who want to use the facilities currently occupied by the foreigners.
The situation caused an exchange of uncomfortable emails among managers at NDC, with Senior Manager for Corporate Affairs and Human Resources Wessel !Nanuseb describing the situation in an email to his colleagues as indefensible.
“If it is true,” he told fellow managers, “we have a serious challenge of defending the indefensible and I sincerely believe that this is an isolated incident and not widely spread across all our facilities.”
In a separate response to New Era, !Nanuseb explained that the Chinese national in question was brought in to save the complex that was on the verge of collapse.
“The complex was about to lose its feet. We therefore [recommended that] Namibia Sunshine Investment bring customers to the building as Chinese use to sell diverse commodities as long as they were not similar to what our local people sold,” !Nanuseb said.
He added that the unit occupied by the Chinese national has been vacant since August 2016.
!Nanuseb further stressed that many locals do not return to occupy the premise once they have been informed of the monthly rental fees.
Currently, NDC charges between N$100 and N$400 per m2 as its market rental rate and between N$35 and N$65 per m2 for smaller trading units.
At the moment, there are other three units that are still unoccupied at the complex, NDC said, despite having placed adverts earlier this year to occupy the stands.
NDC denied leasing out any unit to the Nigerian national.
“The Nigerian nationality is not our tenant at all, that particular unit is being leased out to the Nigerian by her sister-in-law who is a Namibian,” !Nanuseb said.
While NDC acknowledges that it is not allowed for an approved tenant to lease out the units to a second party, it says that it is difficult to identify who the original tenant is.
“It is very difficult to detect and you cannot act on rumours from outside. These operators work close to the real tenant and if asked, they normally say they are a cousin, sister or partner and you cannot cancel an agreement if you have no proof that the operator pays money to the real tenant,” !Nanuseb said further.
NDC was established with a vision to promote, develop and support economic growth and development.