Allow me a space to express my views. The Bank of Namibia (BoN) will soon introduce the new banknotes that feature Namibian former President, Dr. Sam Nujoma, which will replace Captain Hendrik Witbooi on the new N$10 and N$20 notes, while the N$50, N$100 and N$200 notes will still display Witbooi.
My interest on this debate is not on the merit or demerit of the new features, because I am told the money will have to come into my pocket anyway without any choice. I want to understand the legal process and implications in which the new features have to go through.
Currently, the Namibian Dollar, denoted by NAD, is the legal tender of Namibia that was adopted in 1993, three years after the nation first gained independence. The banknotes in circulation include the $10, $20, $50, $100, and $200 notes.
The Bank of Namibia’s Policy on the reproduction of images of the Namibian dollars, implemented on 01 December 2008 and reviewed on January 2010, under Subsection 7.2, it refers to unauthorized reproduction of images of currency, and it specifically mentioned “Distort the image of Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi”. The question is: Has this policy been reviewed to mention Dr. Sam Nujoma?
The Bank of Namibia Act of 1997, Part IV, signed by the President on 5 December 1997, under Section 17: Monetary units and symbols, states that, “The president may, by proclamation in the Gazette determine the monetary units and the symbols to be used for such units which shall, with effects from the date specified in such proclamation, be the currency of Namibia.”
Also, Section 19: Issuance, manufacture and characteristics of notes and coins, states that: “1. Subject to subsection (2) the bank shall have the sole right to issue notes and coins in Namibia, denominated in the monetary units determined under Section 17.
2. The board shall, with the approval of the minister determine the denominations composition, form, design and characteristics of the notes and coins to be issued by Bank and the governor shall prior to the issue of such notes and coins cause their characteristics to be published by notice in the Gazzette.”
If the Act referred to above is still in force, were these legal procedures followed to change the existing features on the said banknotes as categories below? NA - 1: 10 Dollars ND (1993) (Cpt. H. Witbooi, Springbok), NA - 5: 20 Dollars (1996) (Cpt. H. Witbooi, Red Hartebeest) and NA - 9: 10 Dollars ND (2001) (Cpt H. Witbooi, Springbok)
I will be very happy if the Bank of Namibia will be able to clarify these issues to ease any possible confusion.
Human Rights Activist