New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Doubts and Lessons From the Dog Faeces Issue in China Town, Windhoek

opinion

IN the past week the 'dog faeces' issue in China Town in Windhoek has been highlighted in several local newspapers. The government responded quickly by sending an investigation team led by the Deputy Minister of Labour. As a result, some people including the RDP Information Secretary and others started making a fuss by requesting the President of Namibia to deport 'the accused.'

Personally, I hate and condemn some misbehaviour by some individual Chinese nationals, like the one in Otjiwarongo. The culprit should have been punished severely for treating the shop employee badly. This incident has also evoked strong condemnation and indignation within the Chinese community. However, some complained that such people would not have been forgiven even had they apologised to the public.

The response from the Chinese community about this incident clearly indicates that no Chinese will be foolish enough to repeat such sh#@*t behaviour, especially when the President of Namibia has published his warning expressed in strong rhetoric. This is normal human logic. No foreign business people would risk their destiny and business against the president of a host country. I will never believe that the owners of shop No 16 would relieve themselves in a box and ask the shop assistant to throw it away while this company has donated scholarships to school kids for 6 years and blankets to the orphans and San people in Omuthiya. (In fact this programme is still going on). This is my first doubt.

Second, since the shop assistant claimed she received inhuman treatment by being asked to carry human faeces, why didn't she then keep the faeces as evidence and proof of her complaint. At least she could have taken 'the accused' to the dustbin to prove him wrong in her argument with 'the accused' as she claimed. Why did she start her complaint after the municipality had removed the dustbin?

I fully agree with the Deputy Minister of Labour when he made the statement: "It would have made a big difference if the matter was reported immediately before the faeces were removed."

Third, how did the shop assistant know that 'the accused' relieved him or herself into the box since she is not staying in the shop? With two toilets in the shop, who would do such a disgusting thing? Nobody will do so, unless one is insane.

Fourth, why did the newspaper reporter and the public in general only believe what the shop assistant reported? Why not just simply interview and get statements from 'the accused' before going to the press? (The reporter has since apologised for not obtaining comments from 'the accused' before going to print.)

But why did the public just use their reasoning and logic before they jumped to conclusions that the Chinese are making their local employees slaves? Such a simple methodology will mislead people to repeat such one-sided news reporting and furthermore victimise the accused. (This allegation has already victimised 'the accused'). And even worse, it will encourage xenophobia in this beloved land.

I hereby however commend the fair probe led by the Deputy Minister of Labour by investigating the shop assistant, 'the accused' and the security guard who played an important role in verifying the claims when they informed the investigation team that there are many dogs roaming around in China Town.

However, we should learn valuable lessons from this unreasonable complaint. The owners of the Chinese company must notify their employees what the employees are going to carry to the dustbin, especially if there is dog poo in the rubbish.

Secondly, the local employees must produce concrete proof whenever they are going to report to the media or authorities concerned so as to avoid misleading accusations and victimize the innocent.

Thirdly, the general public should be logical and reasonable when they air their comments so as to keep away xenophobia from Namibia.

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