Windhoek – Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) treasurer-general and Member of Parliament Nico Smit says they want to know the details from government about what the N$ 570 million contract between Roads Contractor Company (RCC) and Chinese company entails. Smit said he does not believe a company will invest that amount of money and not demand something in return.
Nico made the comments during a media briefing insinuating the deal between the Chinese deal and RCC is a clear indication of ongoing state capture.
Last week, the Namibia reported that the minister of finance Calle Schlettwein wants government to urgently seek a court order declaring the deal illegal between the two entities.
The story stated RCC hoped to boost its finances ad survival chances by partnering with the Chinese company Jiangsu Nantong Sanjian (Pty) Ltd to avert bankruptcy since government had decided not to bail out the parastatal.
“We would like to see what does that contract say? The fact that the ministry of finance wants to take them to court, because the contract is illegal. What is the basis of the illegality of that contract? Is it because it is unsound and does not favour us but the Chinese. That is worrying us. We are interested to see what will happen when the case goes to court,” stated Smit.
Smit said it should be kept in mind when one borrows money from an entity like a bank, they are expected to repay the loan with interest and not goods.
“The fact that the money has been borrowed from another government in exchange for tenders and that this foreign government –in this case, China – now has more equity in the Namibian parastatal than the Namibian government itself can mean only one thing: China now owns a Namibian parastatal and is once again taking jobs away from Namibians,” stated Smit.
He stated that at the same time it is common knowledge that most of the roads in and around Windhoek as well as in many other part of Namibia are being constructed by Chinese government-owned companies.
He also stated that PDM believes that this is blatant state capture-with China playing the role of Namibia’s Gupta family- has reached such proportions that it has become a matter for the constitutional court.
He said the government has failed to protect Namibia from being recolonised by a foreign power in the guise of a friend that has deep pockets and is always read to “lend” the spendthrift government more money that never has to be paid back because Namibia’s rich natural resources are the only payback required.
“We won’t have the infrastructure they have built for us as all of it is subject to natural wear and tear and our government is not known for its maintenance programmes,” he said.
He added that there is no doubt that the government is taking Namibia down a very dangerous path because of it financial mismanagement and the fact that is has saddled us with a huge number of useless and loss-making parastatals that have brought Namibia to its knees economically. China’s no strings-attached approach to development aid and investment on the continent where it created millions of jobs and builds roads, railways, stadiums, hospitals, clinics, has made the Asian economic giant popular with many African leaders, say some experts on Africa-Sino relations.
China unlike the West has in the past supported the liberation struggles of many African countries, Namibia included, and it maintains its relationship with Namibia is one of equal partners that benefits both countries.
And Africa has always been exploited by Western countries whose loans are exploitative and they come with numerous unreasonable conditions.