• May 27th, 2019
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On Geingob’s support for local businesses

The ability to inspire people to reach greater heights of performance and success is a skill that any contemporary leader must possess.
Last week’s inauguration of the N$30 million head office of Sisa Namandje & Company Incorporated by President Hage Geingob sprung to life heated debates – in both mainstream and social media – on whether the president acted ethically.

The question of ethics originates from Namandje’s supposed friendship with Geingob – and that Namandje is Geingob’s personal lawyer exacerbated the debate even more.
In all this, the most important subject – a success story of a black Namibian making waves in a fraternity previously dominated by whites only – got lost.

This, we must hasten to point out, is not necessarily a question of race, for we know that some of the antagonists in this debate are, themselves, blacks – who seemingly can’t stand the sight of another man from their own community surpassing their own success.
But, that black Namibians were for long not allowed to study and practice law is an indelible fact of history. After laws were amended to allow them to practice, they remained on the fringes of the industry, because those who have benefitted from the apartheid legislation had taken a firm foothold in the industry of law.

Unable to sustain themselves, many black law firms emerged, but disappeared in thin air – like a fart of beans. 
What is criminal, or in the words of liberal critics, unethical, about the head of state inaugurating an investment worth N$30 million, constructed during arguably the worst economic challenges facing the republic in living memory?
Namandje is an independent lawyer; he is not part of the Judiciary, which is supposed to be independent from the Executive. His life story needs to be celebrated and told in its fullness for the sake of both inspiration and motivation.

His firm has 15 lawyers on its books, and 34 employees in total. The number of his lawyers will increase to 17 in January, we were told upon enquiry this week. This is a business established 15 years ago in 2003, from virtually nothing.
Many businesses established around the same time – whether in the law space or outside it – are dead, mourned and buried. Even their names have disappeared from their tombstones and the records of history.

Here is one institution that stood the test of time, and which is firmly on a growth trajectory, but whose success we are now soiling with alarmist unproven arguments of supposed conflict of interest.

Namandje doesn’t come from some wealthy oligarchical background. He walked the path of bumps and tribulations towards the throne of excellence that deservingly occupy in society today. 

It would have been a travesty and failure of untold proportions had Geingob, a leader who must inspire us all, rejected to officiate at an event celebrating a true Namibian story of success as this.  

If a head of state of a nation like ours, with its history and aspirations, cannot celebrate and honour an achievement like this, which kind must he honour?
With this investment, Namandje has responded to the national clarion call for the private sector to inject resources into the growth of the economy, thereby providing jobs and livelihood to Namibian families. 
To this call, Namandje has responded in the boldest of ways, even in challenging times as these.

His new building contains more than 30 offices that will be used in the dispensation of justice in our country. 
This calls for commendation – and Geingob did exactly that by being present at the auspicious occasion, celebrating the legacy of one of the brightest stars of our law fraternity. 

All buildings of, for example, leading financial institutions in our country have plaques, bearing the names of political leaders who inaugurated them. 

Where was the media hullabaloo at the time? Or, is it only discomforting when it involves black businesses?
Geingob is, in law and otherwise, a president for all. He must take all of us under his wing as his children – whether we are his personal lawyers or not.   What on God’s green earth is so conflicting about the President unveiling a multi-million dollar law firm building, whose owner happens to have befriended him?

Staff Reporter
2018-12-14 11:20:27 5 months ago

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