NAMIBIAN OPPOSITION PARTY DECRIES CHINESE “INFILTRATION” OF COUNTRY’S PARASTATALS

WINDHOEK-- Namibian opposition party the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has expressed dismay over the "infiltration" of the Chinese government or companies into Namibian parastatals in the form of soft loans, projects and management.

PDM Treasurer-General Nico Smit aired these sentiments Tuesday during a media briefing in the capital, where he accused the Chinese government of having "captured" the State-owned Roads Contractor Company Limited (RCC) and being on a crusade to capture even more State-owned companies.

"It seems like the Chinese have already taken over RCC. And it is common knowledge that Chinese companies that operate in Namibia do not spend what they earn in Namibia," added Smit, whose comments came shortly after media reports said RCC had entered into an agreement to borrow 570 million Namibian dollars (about 45.4 million US dollars) from a Chinese entity to keep the cash-stripped company afloat, a move which irked Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein.

Smit, who questioned why the majority of RCC projects and other State tenders were being given to Chinese firms, also lambasted Chinese companies which had obtained State projects for failing to transfer skills to locals.

"There is no doubt that this government is taking Namibia down a very dangerous path because of its financial mismanagement and the fact that it has saddled us with a huge number of parastatals that have brought Namibia to its knees financially," Smit said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK