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Overkill On Mercenary Issue Print

NAMIBIA over-reacted in the deportation of American SOC-SMG personnel, and calling for their prosecution by Namibia's Legal Assistance Centre was just out of line.

How do we prosecute people who have not committed a crime? By all means, if Namibia doesn't support such kind of business establishment - it doesn't then give them the right to ill treat or humiliate such foreign nationals.

Tolerance is one of the key pillars that define a democratic society.

And denying those Americans a business permit would have automatically spelt out the message to them, but not by kicking them out of a country.

Because even to classify a person as a prohibited immigrant, there have to be proper grounds.

Fear alone is not reason enough to panic.

Namibia has an intelligence wing that could easily ascertain the activities of any individual or group, and though more expensive than "booting" out a person - it is the price that goes with a democratic state.

The emotional hangovers spilling to allegations of mercenary activities need to be proved, rather than playing a song whose tune we don't know.

Such emotional outbursts are indeed a threat to our enshrined democratic principles, that if left in the hands of government alone, have the potential to encroach on our rights and freedoms.

Though Namibia objects to SOC-SMG activities, that doesn't make their operation illegal.

As we might be aware - call it 'Executive Outcomes' or anything - those are legitimate business organisations operating in the first world, and fully grown democratic states.

Simply, those Americans were not criminals nor were they a threat of any kind to our national security.

Namibia's claims of non-alignment and not getting involved in unsanctioned wars can only bring us to ask - what were we doing in Congo supporting Laurent Kabila? This may signal a very insecure and unprincipled leadership.

What Namibians should be asking today is why did our government in the first place allow SOC-SMG to set up operations in Namibia? Telling the nation why you are kicking out a person is not enough.

Was the government duped? Or should we keep speculating on what actually happened.

Kamwi should not be the scapegoat of government's inability to fully screen who and what kind of business can run in Namibia.

So should we not forget that, we set the stage for ex-combatants' recruitment by denying them opportunities to find their grounds.

Why would a person want to go and work in a war-torn country like Iraq, if not out of desperation? And a democratic country must not tell or choose for consenting adults how they should live their personal lives.

Working as a security guard in Namibia or anywhere in the world has risk of death, and there is nothing we can do about that.

Or if we want to stop people joining SOC-SMG in Namibia, such needy can follow those with a job to wherever their operations are recognised.

Namibians with full stomachs must give jobs to the jobless to eliminate the risk of getting involved in unwanted hotspot.

Mulife Muchali Vancouver - Canada

 
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