By Andreas Thomas
Windhoek – The Namibian Government has rejected, in the strongest terms, a malicious news article published by the British daily tabloid Daily Star on 25 March 2018, claiming that “Namibia is ridden with street crime and not a place to be at night”.
In its online edition of 25 May 2018, Daily Start faulted the Southern African country amidst news hyped that the newly-weds Royal couple, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle might have chosen Namibia to be their ideal and distinct honeymoon destination.
“Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have decided on their dream honeymoon destination – a violent country Brits are warned not to visit,” the tabloid reported to the dismay of many Namibians who dismissed the report as malicious.
The news outlet based its report on advice by the British Foreign Office posted in January 2018 warning Brits to “Avoid driving outside towns at night as wildlife and stray livestock pose a serious hazard”.
The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation stressed that the poorly researched news article contains “serious inaccuracies, innuendos and paints a negative and unfair picture on Namibia”.
“The Government refutes the news article as fabrication and misrepresentation of the good global reputation of Namibia as a tourist destination of choice.
“The news article also completely ignores the peace and political stability the country has enjoyed since its independence on 21 March 1990.
“The Government wishes to categorically state that the tourism sector in Namibia has recorded phenomenal growth with tourists coming from as far as Germany, the United Kingdom, and other European countries, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia.
“Namibia is undoubtedly a country of stunning beauty and a friendly tourist destination. The country hosts the oldest desert on earth, the largest sand dunes in 2 the world and the mind-blowing flora and fauna which are amongst the country’s main attraction,” said Bertha Amakali, the Director of Information and Research in Ministry International Relations and Cooperation.
“The Government of Namibia is mindful that no country is immune from crime in the world. But Namibia is a safe country for its citizens and visitors alike, and welcomes people from all walks of life”.
Over the years, Namibia has attracted international celebrities who successfully visited and enjoyed the warm hospitality of Namibia, famous for the majestic sand dunes in Namib Desert.
Many Hollywood blockbusters including Mad Max 4: Road Fury, 10 000 BC, Samsara and 2001: The Space Odyssey were filmed in the Namib Desert.
Hollywood heavyweights – Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt chose Namibia to be the birthplace of their first biological child Shiloh at coastal resort of Swakopmund in 2006.
Former US President George W. Bush and Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire and founder of Alibaba also visited Namibia in 2017 as tourists.