Lister: A Case of Sour Grapes?


I am writing this letter in response to your “political perspective” article regarding the government’s decision to advertise tenders in New Era. This is my third letter to your paper via email of which none was published, I wonder why, too critical for your liking maybe…..? Nonetheless, this time I dare you to publish this one as follows: ‘Government is entitled to choose who to do business with’. I have read Ms Lister’s “Political Perspective” column regarding government tender advertising rights allocated to New Era with disgust. She is accusing the government of playing favouritism and loathing it for upholding its previous decision to boycott advertising dealings with The Namibian. In my view, these issues are not the real source of discontent as Ms Lister tries to make us believe. The fact is she knows that she just lost a lucrative deal to New Era, a competitor she often goes out of her way to trash in her paper. She knows that her paper stands to suffer customer defection to New Era because of this and now she’s using these dirty tactics to make the government look bad for making an excellent decision. Why should government give away business to your paper (a rival with dubious ownership and motives) when its got its own paper that is in much need of every business support it can get? It doesn’t make business sense at all. And she went ahead to boast about how the previous government ban dealt no financial blow on The Namibian, now what is this fuss about losing the advertising rights? Maybe your tender pricing was not competitive after all and hence you lost, ever considered this aspect? It is a basic business principle that rational companies allocate business to the best bidder and strategic partners, and obviously government is no exemption to this rule. Lister is always quick to politicise everything concerning government. And her justifications are often rather insulting the readers’ intelligence. My advice is that you should stop mourning over a lost tender and accept the underlying facts and stop fooling your readers. Thank you. Your Mighty Critic P.S. I’ve also submitted this letter to other three papers for publication, so you might not want to be the odd one out.