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Protesters divided over ‘Chinophobia’

Protesters divided over ‘Chinophobia’

Staff Reporter

THE Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) is gradually being isolated by other “progressive” forces who feel uncomfortable with the “red berets'” campaign against Chinese businesses in Namibia.

The NEFF recently spearheaded a series of protests to demand that Chinese shops be closed down countrywide.

The protests were initially widely supported by the “progressive forces”. However, disagreements started to emerge over the display of political party colours during the protests and the making of xenophobic statements by some protestors.

The protests started after the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) announced that it destroyed counterfeit goods valued at about N$5 million.



According to NamRA, the goods belonged mostly to foreigners and were mostly confiscated at border posts for the past seven years.

However, the wave of demonstrations that followed was based on the claim that NamRA confiscated and destroyed counterfeit goods from Namibian traders while ignoring counterfeit goods in the Chinese owned shops.

A number of activists were arrested in Windhoek where the police used tear gas canisters and fired rubber bullets against protesters who demanded not only the closure of Chinese owned shops but also the expulsion of Chinese nationals from Namibia.

The NEFF protests were joined by the PDM and the RDP.

The AR withheld its support but allowed its members to participate as private citizens.

However, representatives of the RDP and the PDM have now come out to state that they do not share some of the NEFF views that are “tantamount to Chinophobia”.

Nghishiikoh Joshua Nghishiikoh of the RDP said that he personally and his party do not share the “seemingly xenophobic views” uttered during the protests.

Agatus Antanga of the PDM says his party participated at the Oshakati protest march, not to demand the closure of Chinese shops, but merely to demand fair treatment of workers, including better wages, and that the land’s laws be strictly respected.

Agatus Antanga of the PDM. Photo: LinkedIn

Nghishiikoh Joshua Nghishiikoh of the RDP. Photo: File

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