By Nankali za Muserengwa
USAKOS, 15 May 2022 – Prominent businesswoman and president of the Black Business Leadership Network of Namibia (BBLNN), Irene Simeon-Kurtz, has condemned the recent burning of counterfeit goods worth N$5 million by the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA).
In a press statement on Saturday, Simeon-Kurtz called the situation shocking, dismaying, and disappointing.
She explained that the confiscated goods were not illegally acquired, and nor did the items enter the country illegally. The items were acquired through a sales import purchase process and declared upon entry.
“Actions to confiscate and destroy merchandise of entrepreneurs in a country that lacks market access and infrastructure to operate a formal business is highly condemned,” she said.
Irene further charged NamRa’s actions were unfair and discriminatory treatment of local indigenous and previously disadvantaged Namibian entrepreneurs in favour and advantage of foreign entrepreneurs saying it’s unconstitutional as Namibia’s constitution, states that all are equal under the law, and there be no preferential treatment.
She also accused NamRa that it has failed to protect the interests of the locals, through their acts of confiscating goods of local entrepreneurs and describing it as humiliation.
Simeon-Kurtz further said that the concerns raised are not about politics, race, or colour but it is protecting rights, dreams, and freedom.
In conclusion, Simeon-Kurtz advised NamRa to educate local entrepreneurs about import laws and counterfeit goods.
NamRa, in their statement released on Thursday, maintained that the counterfeit goods they destroyed last week were not confiscated recently but over the years and from foreign nationals, not Namibian citizens or local entrepreneurs – Namibia Daily News.