Black business network questions DBN mandate …bemoan repossession of businesses and homes

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Maihapa Ndjavera

The Black Business Leadership Network of Namibia (BBLNN) held a peaceful demonstration on Friday, where it alleged the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has adopted a mandate of liquidating mostly black businesses.

“We say this because this is being done with vigour as if the bank is using private money to fund black businesses,” said the chairperson of the network, Eliphas Simon, in a letter of demand. 

Members of the network gathered early on Friday morning to deliver their letter of demand to the Bank of Namibia, Office of the Prime Minister, finance ministry and DBN.

BBLNN was formed by a group of previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs from different business sectors, who now demand government intervention with their collective challenges.

“Our main challenge is DBN and its conducts (business), as its policies are directly and indirectly affecting us negatively,” Simon charged.

He continued by accusing DBN of disarming and paralysing previously disadvantaged Namibian entrepreneurs, while also derailing and sabotaging national goals in addressing socio-economic challenges.

He said the current and future financial situation they are facing as entrepreneurs have, amongst others, resulted in layoffs and job losses, further causing socio-economic hardships for employers, employees and their dependants. 

In efforts to find amicable solutions with DBN, Simon stated they have engaged the development bank since 2019 but they have not yet received any positive feedback. 

The network, therefore, recommends government finds reasons and motives as to their allegations that DBN has diverted from its core mandate, principles and objectives, and it is instead operating like a private commercial bank.

“Thoroughly investigate all the operations and dealings of the DBN, including their beneficiaries and how each account and client had been dealt with,” stressed Simon.

He noted there is a need for economic recovery crisis management interventions as a matter of urgency to avoid repossession of businesses and homes of business owners.

“Ministry of finance must get in touch with the central bank and advise them to host an entrepreneurs and bankers’ symposium as one of the few interventions that can be taken in finding lasting solutions to problems we are facing,” stated Simon.

He added: “Stop the onslaught on black businesses; we are entrepreneurs – not criminals. We have families to sustain”.– mndjavera@nepc.com.na