Cheetah Cement employs Chinese without papers

Staff Writer

Police in Otjiwarongo arrested eight Chinese nationals – two females and six men for not being in possession of work permits. They were all arrested the Cheetah Cement manufacturing plant in Otjiwarongo.

Otjozondjupa Regional police spokesperson Inspector Maureen Mbeha confirmed the arrests yesterday.

“Yes, we have arrested 8 Chinese national. They are all being detained and are in police custody. They were arrested under the Immigration Act No, 7 of 1993.” Mbeha confirmed.

Cheetah Cement Is located a few kilometres north of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa region.

The company is a joint venture between China’s Asia-Africa Business Management and Whale Rock Cement.

Magaret Kalo, Chief Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security said the Chinese did not have appropriate work documents.

“Our immigration officers arrested the eight Chinese nationals because they did not have their relevant employment permits as all foreign nationals should if they are working in Namibia,” said Kalo.

She further went on to encourage all those who are not Namibian nationals and seek employment in the country to have their work permits in order or they would end up in being arrested.

Earlier this week leaders of Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) accused the partly Chinese-owned company of having employed more than 60 Chinese nationals in positions that could be occupied by Namibians.

In addition, NEFF also alleged that six Chinese nationals came on an invitation to become employees without work permits. They demanded to see the company’s management, which was allegedly not available.

In 2019, employees of Cheetah Cement expressed dismay with the lack of Namibians in higher ranks and managerial positions at the cement company, despite them holding the relevant qualifications.

The workers claimed that Cheetah Cement, largely employs Chinese nationals who fill positions for which Namibians have qualifications and that the company employs more Chinese workers than locals.

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