Government’s decision to tax those operating in the informal economy should be decried with the contempt that it deserves.
I know Jesus said “give unto Ceaser what is due to Ceaser” and of course we are aware that He was talking about the paying of taxes, but it is my informed view that until the wealthy community has been properly captured in the tax net we must provide the space that the informal market needs to grow.
In Namibia we have landlords who continue to rake in millions through rental revenue that goes into their pockets without any taxes imposed on it.
There is a general feeling that lawmakers deliberately shy away from discussing housing and rent issues because they[lawmakers] are part of the cabal that benefits from the current housing system. No wonder they have been so reluctant to institute stringent methods to control the country’s housing market.
Without any debate, it is known that the informal sector has kept the nation afloat during the ongoing economic crunch, and as much as I agree that taxes in this economy should be collected, it is also my conviction that those at the top should be captured first before the man on the street is targeted.
We know bus and taxi owners as well as street vendors earn incomes that not many employees in the formal sector earn, but we must not put the cart before the horse by bullying those in the informal sector.
So until the finance ministry comes out publicly and tells us what it plans to do with landlords who do not pay their taxes, we see the move to tax operators in the informal sector as frivolous.
The leadership crisis and the ravaging uncertainty that Namibia is going through now affects all of us.
I say this because the ethical failures committed by our leaders are not confined to the government. They are cascading down, like a disease, into every aspect of Namibian life. They are killing our country, and killing us with it. Every extra day our leaders are silent, this erosion continues and our crisis deepens.
With the Chinese and other like-minded capturers firmly in control, the fate of our country will be sealed: our sovereignty will be lost and our democracy gone and so will our peace.
I believe it is true that the fish rots from the head. The problem we face, as Namibians, is that the rot is so advanced that it’s already approaching the tail. And unless we act soon, this beautiful house that we call Namibia will soon be a rotten pile of bones buried six foot underground.
We all have a duty to play to end this scourge of corruption. And when we see wrongdoing, rather than turn the other way, we need to call it out. Blow the whistle!
We need to be active citizens, and fully involved in ethical behavior wherever we find ourselves. But to be active citizens, we need to be informed citizens.
The state capture project, with government at its epicentre, is effectively an international crime syndicate. It is a global mafia operation involving business and sometimes state interests.
It’s already common knowledge, from the number of tenders Chinese got, that dodgy deals have been done with Chinese business interests. Massive kickbacks were paid to Chinese companies for the construction of buildings, at the expense of equally competent local firms, suggesting a conspiracy between government and Chinese state owned enterprises.
It will be difficult to assess which ministers/leaders benefitted from being in bed with the Chinese because they have secret bank accounts.
Given the scale of the deals, even a small kickback is going to run into hundreds of millions. And, as we’ve seen from the various reports on corruption and the kickbacks are never small.
So this is not just about state capture by the Chinese. This is a global conspiracy. And we shouldn’t be so naïve as to think otherwise.