By: Justicia Shipena
Popular Democratic Movement leader (PDM) McHenry Venaani says that the meeting held with ReconAfrica on Wednesday does not change their stance on Namibia’s stake through the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namibia).
The Canadian company is acquiring 5% of Namcor’s current 10% for N$30 million in cash, pushing the stake to 95%.
Recon Africa currently owns a 90% stake in the oil-drilling license in the two Kavango regions.
“Our stance is very clear from the beginning on the Namcor stake. The problem is that we have this idea of selling everything for every resource that comes our way until the country has no stake in its resources. It’s important to maintain this,” said Venaani.
He added that Namibia must have its stake to preserve for future generations.
“PDM has no right to give blessings or not. Our right is to look at investors in general. When investors come into the country, they must comply with the rules and regulations,” he said.
Last month, PDM stood out against the proposed plans by Namcor to sell half of its 10% stake in the oil exploration license.
Venaani expressed that the company assured him that: “Recon Africa is not drilling oil in Namibia; they are looking for oil.”
He further said that development is not a one-way street, and he will still listen to environmentalists and other parties.
“Yes, we need investments, but that investment should also not hurt people, livelihood, and environment,” he said.
Speaking to The Villager on Thursday, he said he raised issues on permits during the meeting.
“They assured us that they have already undergone all the environmental assessment and passed all the tests, and in the meeting, they agreed to send all the documents to prove this,” he explained.
He added that the outcome of the meeting with the Canadian company is that it must continue with its activities.
“However, they must make sure that their oil exploration does not negatively affect the environment,” said Venaani.
Venaani said the community must carry wealth in the process and understand what is to be done by ReconAfrica.
“We also raised geographical questions in terms of fracking. They also reassured us that there will be no fracking as they would use better and new technology.”
In this vein, he said Recon made it clear that they want communities to benefit from social-economic development.
“We spoke about the funding of students. They told us that they wanted to do more. They have already arranged to finance students. In engineering, they have identified ten, giving employment creation of 400 temporary jobs. To look at Namibians as the absorption capital so that more Namibians can go into the oil industry,” he expressed.
Venaani further said he is alive because they are not drilling they are only exploring oil.
“As a party that supports companies to flourish in a social market economy, we give heed to people who want to invest in the country. If f people are investing in the country, our community should not be taken for a ride and not undermined in resources that belong to them.” He adds that the party at the meeting approached to ask for funding for students in Ukraine and have experience hardship because of Russia’s invasion.
“We asked for the donation. I have already given instructions for the youth league to start preparing for psychological support.”
Thus, he said, they are not getting the donation for the party’s benefit.
“We gave them options on whether to pay the money to us or ministry of international relations, for as long as the money goes to the students.”