President Hage Geingob reiterated Tuesday that he has not endorsed anyone as his preferred vice presidential candidate for the upcoming Swapo congress, rejecting claims by the local media.
Media and those engaged in endless speculation, rumormongering and gossip about who President Geingob allegedly “supports quietly” should be rest assured that President Geingob has taken the decision not to endorse any candidate, said presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari in a statement.
Geingob has faced criticism in recent months for failing to endorse his vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah or any candidate for the party’s elective congress as has been the party’s tradition.
However, Nandi-Ndaitwah in an interview with New Era on Monday said she respects Geingob’s decision not to endorse her or any candidate.
Hengari encouraged the media to always adhere to the Code of Ethics and Conduct for Namibian Media.
“President Geingob has made his position clear with regard to the ongoing campaigns for the positions of vice president, secretary general and deputy secretary general in the Swapo party, of which he is the President,” Hengari added.
Hengari further refuted claims by a daily newspaper that Geingob introduced environmental minister Pohamba Shifeta to 16 heads of state in Luanda, labelling it as an utter fabrication and fiction.
First, he said, the media claimed Geingob was supporting Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, then defence minister Frans Kapofi and now Shifeta.
“The question is, how many people can President Geingob support in one week? For the reader, this confusion is evidence of misinformation and reporting without facts,” Hengari questioned.
“Consistent with their roles in government and the issues on the UN Agenda, it should be emphasised that Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and Shifeta were part of the Namibian delegation to the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.”
Hengari said the delegation was compiled before Shifeta was a candidate, and it is for that reason that he withdrew from the delegation.
“Shifeta is not endorsed by President Geingob – and the report, which states otherwise in the Namibian Sun, demonstrates the absence of verification in certain newsrooms in pursuance of bias and orchestrated political agenda,” he added.
He said it is wholly understandable that Swapo, as the ruling party, helmed by Geingob, will always attract curious onlookers and speculations.
“President Geingob is a firm believer in democracy and has always emphasised unity and inclusivity,” he stressed.
Nandi-Ndaitwah, who also doubles as deputy prime minister and international relations minister, is eyeing re-election as the party vice president at the watershed November congress.
She is competing for the position against her senior in government, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, as well as environment minister Shifeta.