Windhoek based lawyer, Elize Angula, has threatened to take unspecified legal action against government in an attempt to stop it from borrowing N$10 billion from China.
Angula told the Windhoek Observer this week that she was still working on a plan on how she will stop government from accessing the billions from China which it desperately need to jumpstart the faltering economy.
“I have not finalised all my plans as yet, but I am working towards it. I do not want to let them know how, otherwise, I will fail. Please let this be a work in progress for now. Once solidified, I will let you know immediately,” she said.
Angula first made the announcement last week during a discussion organised by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) in Windhoek where she said government borrowing, if not checked, may result in coming generations of Namibians failing to pay back the loans.
Contacted for comment on whether a private citizen can legally stop government from accessing bilateral loans, Windhoek based human rights lawyer, Norman Tjombe, said it was possible to at least have access to the information on what the terms and conditions of the loan are, what it will be used for and the procurement processes of the activities that would be funded by the loan.
“At the same time, if the loan is oppressive and will only harm Namibia if the repayment terms are unfair or interests to high, then a court should come to the protection of the shareholder (that is the ordinary man, woman and child),” he said.
Tjombe said Article 25(2) of the Namibian Constitution will be the basis on which the rights will be based.
“Of course, it will all be linked to the rights to education, health, housing and all other basic rights. If these rights are at risk of being violated because of the loan, then a Court must come to the assistance of vindicating the rights,” he said.
“It’s all about the right to access information in possession of our representatives.”
Last month, President Hage Geingob announced that Namibia was seeking loans worth N$10 billion from China to fund various projects.
Geingob, however, said whoever comes to Namibia must come at “our own terms” since Namibia is not desperate like other African countries.
“We told our Chinese friends that we are a credit worthy country and some other countries don’t have that, so they can take anything, but we can pick and choose,” the president said.
“We are a sovereign nation, but not an island. The world is globalising and we need partners.”
Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein also defended the loans from China, saying they are significantly cheaper.
Schlettwein said Chinese concessionary loans come with a 2 percent interest rate compared to 7.7 percent on local Treasury Bills, 9 percent on local bonds and 7 percent on the Eurobond and loans from the African Development Bank.