The Rally for Democracy and Progress is calling on President Hage Geingob and his administration to look at a situation in Okongo in which, according to a press release by RDP, a Chinese investor has begun construction on a commercial structure on lands owned by residents without consulting or briefing the residents.
“Development, like democracy, ought to be for the people by the people. Meaningly that the people of the area must be engaged and properly informed about the nature of development that will come their way. In addition, modalities, organization and planning need to involve the residents of the area as opposed to them being kept in the dark by unscrupulous and corrupt officials”, Nghiningilwandubo Kashume, Secretary of Information and Publicity of RDP, said in a press release.
A Chinese investor has begun construction in Okongo and according to the statement has demolished structures owned by the residents of the town without the residents’ knowledge or approval before the fact. Kashume stressed that, “Had the residents of Okongo been respectfully consulted the shenanigans at Okongo today could not have arisen.”
However, RDP argues that land has been taken away from the residents and has been given to the investor for free at the expense of the residents. Kashume also argues that residents, “[…]have not been fairly compensated or resettled prior to the demolition of their structures nor are they shareholders in the business conducted on their land by a foreigner.”
Kashume says that the commercial structure will, “[…]market mainly foreign products manufactured in foreign countries, specifically China.”
“The priority should be economic empowerment of the Namibian people if we are truly to eradicate poverty” Kashume said, calling on the Geingob administration to look at the situation in Okongo.