On 11 June 2012, we raised concern with the acquisition of 49.9% shares in Bank Windhoek by Barclays Bank.
We pointed out that Barclays Bank does not have a clean record and is at the top of a list of more than 700 companies which run the world through hook and crook as well as blood and sweat.
These companies fix food prices by hoarding stuff for speculation; they peddle arms and prop up oppressive regimes so that they can exploit resources or just make profit.
There is a lot Barclays is involved in not forgetting that it was formed from slave money. The blood of our African brothers who were stolen from the continent and sold abroad where they died like dogs watered the seed that is Barclays Bank today.
Of course, Barclays Bank does not admit this fact yet In How Europe Underdeveloped Africa; the late Walter Rodney makes it clear that the Barclay brothers - David and Alexander - established Barclay’s Bank in 1756 with the profits made in their slaving business.
David, who owned slaves which he worked on his Jamaican plantations admits to being a slave owner in an 1801 book titled An Account of the Emancipation of the Slaves of Unity Valley Pen, in Jamaica where he writes: “Having been a slave owner, and much dissatisfied in being so, I (am) determined to try the experiment of liberating my slaves; firmly convinced, that retaining my fellow creatures in bondage was not only irreconcilable with the precepts of Christianity, but subversive of the rights of human nature.”
He freed them but kept the proceeds of slavery! There is no evidence that he gave each of his slaves compensation for working them and making him rich. This is the money that set up Barclays Bank. He had made enough dough and did not want slaves any more. His experiment worked.
Furthermore, Barclays Bank acquired Heywoods Bank from Martins Bank in 1968. Heywoods Bank was an 18th Century money lender for the Atlantic slave trade.
Of course again, small-minded people who claim to be thinkers will say we are going back to the past. And we ask them: Why not go to the past if it’s the truth? And that truth is still as it was then? Why forget the truth and pretend that everything is fine when the perpetrators – more than 400 years after the sordid deed – are still exploiting the continent?
What we said on 11 June in this space has come to pass. Barclays Bank does not have good intentions although in some quarters, there is this narrow-mindedness about letting Bank Windhoek go to foreign investors simply because locals run things down.
That colonial thinking – locals which should be read as blacks – run things down. So because of that belief which is still being perpetuated by those endowed with inferiority complexes has kept the nation backward because they think that unless they work for the pale skinned, they are not working.
Again we hear the myopic say ah look they hate the pale skinned ones. And we laugh and ask: Why should we hate them? We are saying what is there. What they did and are still doing. It’s a fact. And facts hurt.
But yes, we said Barclays Bank does not qualify to buy Bank Windhoek. It is an international player; investor of course but still Barclays has a bad record.
Of what use is investment if it does not benefit the locals? Barclays will make money in Namibia but with the way they manipulate figures, it’s money made in Namibia for Europe.