Some Namibians have reduced themselves to being perpetual armchair critics cynical about everything that government wants to do even when such deeds are for the good of all the citizens of our country. The case in point is the current debate on social media and mainstream media platforms casting aspersions on the acquisition of Erindi by Mexican billionaire Alberto Bailleres.
The cacophony of criticism is indeed sad and misplaced because as the presidential press secretary Dr Alfredo Hengari rightly pointed out the right to property rights is part of the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in chapter 3, article 16 of Namibia’s Constitution. As such all land, transactions are guided by the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia, which guarantees property rights.
Tampering with property rights be it at Erindi or any other business would shut the door on investors and Namibia could be categorised as a banana republic that does not respect the rule of law.
When investors come to any country, particularly in Africa, they acquaint themselves with its property rights. They also find out if the host country has an enabling investment and whether there are other policy instruments for doing business in an enabling environment in the host country.
Namibia is part of a global free market economy and is renowned for being transparent and ethical.
In the context of Erindi, that area is mostly suitable for game farming through which we draw thousands of tourists to Namibia thereby contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Our tourism - despite its huge potential to create much-needed jobs, is a sector that has remained untapped and this investment by Bailleres should be embraced by all progressive Namibians.
In order to better harness the huge untapped potential of tourism, all Namibians should learn to appreciate the fact investors such as Bailleres have chosen our country for investment because he might as well have taken his investment to other African countries that would gladly welcome him.
Unnecessary rhetoric on land and the disrespect for property rights is a recipe for disaster that could scare away potential investors and Namibia can not afford to lose bona fide investors at the expense of armchair critics who have very little to offer in terms of jobs creation and poverty alleviation.
As President Hage Geingob also pointed out, we can not chase investors away and at the same time shed crocodile tears that unemployment is high and that our people wallow in poverty and yet when government tries to woo investors, we are quick to jump on the bandwagon of negative rhetoric.
As patriotic Namibians we should support government in its drive to create, jobs and we should collectively embrace these investments if this is the price we have to pay to address bread-and-butter issues of creating meaningful salaried jobs that will improve the welfare of our people.
New Era Reporter
2019-06-28 10:01:17 1 months ago