WINDHOEK – The ministry of environment has dismissed as baseless allegations made by an unknown person in an audio recording circulating on social media that the ministry is allowing Chinese to drive vehicles patrolling the national parks.
Among the allegations made in the Oshiwambo audio recording are that the country has been sold to the Chinese and that the Chinese are apparently ‘working’ in the country’s protected national parks.
The person in the clip further alleges that Chinese nationals drive government-registered vehicles.
However, the spokesperson of environment and tourism Romeo Muyunda clarified that the vehicles were donated by the Chinese government in 2017 to assist anti-poaching initiatives.
Muyunda said the recording was brought to their attention on Tuesday.
“The ministry would like to categorically state that the allegations made in the audio recording are completely false and devoid of any credibility. There are no Chinese nationals working in our national parks or game reserves, there are no ministerial or government vehicles being driven by Chinese nationals and our national parks have not been sold to the Chinese. All of these allegations are pure fabrications and propaganda that aim to tarnish the image of government,” Muyunda reacted.
He said the ministry wishes to inform the public that the vehicle in question, GRN 31298, belongs to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and is based at Halali station in Etosha National Park.
According to him, on Monday the vehicle was driven to Tsumeb by the ministry’s ranger on an officially sanctioned trip.
He said the vehicle was never driven by any other person that day.
Muyunda explained that the vehicle is one of a donation of 35 vehicles received in 2017 from the Government of the People’s Republic of China in support of Namibia’s conservation efforts.
“The Chinese government donation to the ministry was reported in the public media and was officially received in a transparent manner,” he said.
As per normal practices, he says, the donating party may choose to display their logo on the donated items.