By Victor Angula |
While Namibia is a country in need of development, the kind of development which will improve the living conditions of the people at the grassroots level, the very state-owned financial enterprise meant to stimulate this kind of development has turned out to be the development bank of the elites (the ruling class and their cronies.)
I am talking about the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN).
This bank is a state-owned entity; which means that it was set up with public money for the purpose of stimulating economic growth by lending money out to commercial enterprises in a manner that would be to the benefit of the Namibian nation.
But since the end of last year (2020) I have been trying to figure out something about the operations of this bank. And so I have come to the conclusion that this bank known as the Development Bank of Namibia is not serving the people except those at the top of the pyramid.
In the last email I sent to DBN last week I said:
“As I stated [earlier] that it simply is illogical to demand enterprises in the informal sector to meet such requirements as: certificate of good standing, certificate of fitness, financial statements, even proof of residence (except where a police declaration is done, something which is highly offensive to most people when considered in the light that someone has to go to the extent of producing a police declaration to indicate his or her residence as if what he is doing is unlawful business or he is a flight risk), and then personal and business bank statements for 12 months or more (which are costly to acquire – one page of bank statement older than 3 months costs N$48.00 at FNB – but then while there is no guarantee that the financing application will be successful).
“My query was based on the fact that the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) is increasingly being seen to be a bank for the elites. That is to say, it is an instrument in the hands of the ruling class and their cronies, a tool which they use in their rapacious desire to eat alone and perpetuate the economic inequality in the Namibian society and continue to widen the gap between the rich and the poor.”
In response DBN’s corporate communication and stakeholder relationship specialist Ms Di-Anna Grobler simply said:
“Thank you for your view. However, we have exhausted the issue and all information have been disseminated to you.”
Meanwhile, this is the first of a 100 article-series on DBN. If they have exhausted the issue and they have disseminated the information, at least I haven’t exhausted the issue and I have not gotten the information they disseminated.
I remain adamant that a state-owned bank that serves only the elites is something that is wrong and unjustifiable and questionable.
So by the 99th article I might get to feel that I have exhausted the issue on my side. So this is the first article for DBN (or is it DBE?)