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JK’s political brinkmanship gives him breathing space

After a week’s fierce discussions on how the country has been plundered by gluttonous unaccountable officials, JK says, he was neither disturbed nor troubled with the vibrant discussions emanating from the Parliament and from his very own Central Committee!      

Yes, he is the very initiator of the transparency never known before in this country by enabling the   CAG report to be tabled in the Parliament.   We have had several Auditor-General’s reports in the past that included Aboud and  Kiama, and had as well revealed scathing reports, yet ended being swept under the carpet. 

By allowing this and the creation of the Parliamentary Standing Committees and having intelligent and hard working members of parliament, he expected all this to come out in the open and no wonder he was not shaken and remained upright! Yes, the country has been made a cash cow by unscrupulous leaders and unashamedly they went further defending themselves that their wealth was not ill-gotten, rather it is an accumulation accrued from sisters, wives brothers and so forth! Do you buy that?  

Definitely it is through their offices, the five or more years of political tenure have completely changed their life styles together with their families with the support of the government’s discriminative privileges in terms of schools, hospitals and allowances!   I could not believe how the Chinese Construction Company would play around with two Ministers and later involved the Prime Minister to allow Deputy Minister make rendezvous to several countries at the expense of the Company that is vying for tender from his Ministry!               

I took note of the cautionary statement raised by Wawi Member of Parliament Hamadi Rashidi that we should be careful when dealing with Chinese who on the face value appear to be innocent people!   Chinese fast growing economy is carrying with it all the characteristics that go together with capitalistic vices, corruption and exploitation. The Far East countries are known for their softness, eagerness and readiness into coxing corrupt officials.      

Unfortunately, the long time solidarity the Chinese have been enjoying with the developing countries is now being eroded by these new emerging corrupt vices that seem to make inroads to many African countries.   The Chinese we used to know in the Mao Tse Tung era are very much different from these operating under globalization era. You may remember in the sixties, Chinese Premier Chou en Lai visited Africa for the first time and declared that Africa was ripe for revolution

But that has changed with the collapse of the cold war; it seems the Chinese are now saying, Africa is a fertile bed for corruption.   This is the results of the rehabilitated Chinese leadership spearheaded by Deng Xiaoping with his Four Modernizations policy that sought to modify the radical organizational and social economic reforms of the Mao era.  

Deng launched a comprehensive development programme designed to enable China to become a major industrial and military power by the year 2000.  The key elements in this programme were decentralisation of the Chinese economy, restoration of material incentives, the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law in the political system, the introduction of rigorous academic standards in schools and universities and vigorous promotion of scientific and technological acquisition from abroad.  Chinese are already there in what can be termed as creative capitalism. 

In Africa, it is Zambia’s President Michael Satta before becoming President of that country who condemned the infiltration of Chinese in Africa.  By then he said if he were to become the President of Zambia, he would reconsider the presence of Chinese in Zambia.  But he seems to have retracted from that stand.  

In Namibia the local media has written so extensively on the Chinese activities.   Their Construction Companies are notorious for offering best bids because of their negligence of the country’s labour laws. They have been blamed for violating the labour laws as well as killing the small local construction companies as they win almost all the tenders in construction work.  China in Namibia has special place for the role it played during the liberation struggle and post independence and continues to be a reliable ally of Namibia.

Currently China is involved in revamping Namibia’s railway communication system which was in the brink of collapsing.      Some few years back, Namibia bought four Chinese locomotive engines which cost about N$36 Million (US$4.5m) but could be used for only 33 months and suffered 265 failures during that time from October 2004 until June 2007.  TransNamib, the country’s parastatal responsible for communication, grounded all the locomotives in June 2007 due to their poor performance and serious safety risk related to the braking system. 

The decision to buy them was economically justifiable, but due to a lack of a proper technical analysis of the Chinese manufacturer’s design and lack of quality control, these locomotives were not suitable for the Namibian environment in which they had to operate.  As that was not enough, a Chinese and his Namibian business associate were arrested in connection with alleged corruption involving up to N$ 120 million (US$15m). 

The charges were connected to a contract for the supply of security scanners for a contract to the Ministry of Finance.  The contract was awarded to a Chinese company, Nuctech Company and was marred by alleged corruption and payment of kickbacks to the tune of as much as a third of the contract price of some N$ 120 million (US$15m).The Namibian High Court issued a restraint order over a host of assets allegedly tainted by proceeds from the corrupted contract.  Chinese are very cunning business people.   Indeed we have to be careful when dealing with Chinese, our traditional political allies. 


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LAST week, following the inauguration of the newlyelected ...

Author: Kiangiosekazi Wa-nyoka

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