Image: Namibia Fact Check / Canva
An old misleading WhatsApp post about a donation from “Government” and the “World Bank Group” has resurfaced
Namibia Fact Check has been monitoring the post, which appears to date back to early last year, when it first came to Namibia Fact Check’s attention on 6 April 2022 (image below).
The same post has now been shared across several Namibian Facebook groups since April 2023, such as Second Hand Car in Namibia, which has over 21,000 members, and Windhoek Jobs, with over 5,000 members. It has also been circulating in WhatsApp groups (image below) for the last few months.
The post has also circulated in Asian Facebook groups over the last year or so, with the accompanying link and currency symbol changed (image below). The post has appeared in Bangladeshi Facebook groups, in July and August 2022, as well as ones speaking to a Papua New Guinea audience, also from April 2022.
There has never been such a “donation” announcement by the Namibian government.
Besides, who would the Namibian government and the World Bank Group be making a N$15 billion (at the current exchange rate) donation to? That’s because governments don’t make donations to the citizens of their countries – they either provide grants or loans.
The closest Namibia Fact Check has come to establishing the origin of the information misleadingly peddled in the post is from a $750 million development loan approved by the World Bank to boost South Africa’s Covid-19 response in 2022. The official press release dated 21 January 2022 reads as follows:
“This loan will support the Government of South Africa’s efforts to accelerate its COVID-19 response aimed at protecting the poor and vulnerable from the adverse socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and supporting a resilient and sustainable economic recovery.”
That said, this is either a click-bait scam or a personal data / information theft scam.
Namibian social media users are cautioned not to click on the link accompanying the WhatsApp post or to call or WhatsApp the number provided in the Facebook posts.