By: Andrew Kathindi
Swapo Party Women’s Council said that they have been aware of incidents of Chinese nations abusing the rights of Namibian workers over the years but the behaviour is no longer tolerable.
This comes after the ruling party’s women’s council demanded that a Chinese shop owner in Windhoek’s China Town in the northern industrial area be deported after he forced his female employee, 24-year-old Sandra George, to strip off a uniform he had provided her for work, down to her underwear.
The Chinese national was arrested on Monday afternoon and charged with defamation of character and assault. He is detained in the Wanaheda police and is expected to make his appearance in the Magistrate Court on Tuesday 9 November.
“We heard about that and we know about it. We were observing the behaviour. But we have now reached the point that this behaviour cannot be tolerated. That’s why we are demanding for these actions to be taken,” Swapo women’s council secretary Eunice Iipinge told The Villager.
The incident is one of a string of reported cases of Chinese nationals abusing the rights of workers. In September, the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) confronted a Chinese-owned glass-assembling company after it was alleged that the owner treated his workers poorly.
In 2013 then labour and social welfare minister Doreen Sioka forced a Chinese businessman Hui Wang, to apologize after he ordered his workers at his Otjiwarongo shop to carry and dispose of his wife’s faeces in a plastic bag.
“Those things have taken place, people have acted, but meanwhile, it has become now a behaviour and we cannot tolerate it anymore. That’s why now we are taking serious action against this person. We are not anti-Chinese. We are anti-behaviour of this nature. We are Namibian women. Very strong, and we cannot be humiliated like this,” Iipinge said.
The AR previously alleged that the state was captured by the Chinese. Quizzed on whether Chinese businesses in Namibia felt free to abuse their workers due to the two government’s relations, Iipinge said that if they have felt so, it will now change.
“They will now feel our music. Those who are feeling like that will see the action we are going to take. We are the Swapo Party and we are the Swapo Party government. If they feel that they are here to do whatever to our people, we will meet in action.”
Popular democratic movement’s Deputy Secretary General Yvette Araes said the latest inhumane incident calls for the Namibian government to tighten its laws regarding the entry of Chinese business nationals into the country without proper checks and balances.
“Chinese nationals who operate in Namibia must be properly cross-checked to ensure that they are law-abiding individuals and that they conform to the rule of law in Namibia, particularly when it concerns fundamental human rights and freedoms.”