Swapo President Hage Geingob has said his critics will be disappointed even if they pray hard enough for him to be implicated in the unfolding Fishrot
“For some people who wish to see my name linked to Fishrot, I have to disappoint you that even if you pray hard enough, your hopes are going to be dashed,” Geingob said.
“That is not going to happen. I and my wife were the first people who publicly from own persuasion, decided to declare our assets upon ascendancy to the Presidency.”
In a lengthy speech at the weekend’s Swapo central committee (CC)
meeting, which was only shared yesterday, a combative Geingob also took issue with those reportedly harbouring hopes of removing the elected ruling party’s leadership.
“As a result, any cadre harbouring ideas of taking over the Swapo leadership should wait until my term is over. It is only in situations where people have no opportunity to participate in the democratic process of periodic elections, that the only option for change may be via a coup d’état.
But since in Namibia we have elections every five years, let those who plan to assume leadership wait their turn, contest and come through via the polls, if successful,” said Geingob.
“For those who may have lingering doubts on my mandate to govern, I assure you today that I am not a victim but a victor who was elected democratically and legally over other contestants as per the set rules and procedures, with an overwhelming mandate as Swapo president by the Swapo party elective congress of 2017, and as the President of Namibia in the 2019 Presidential elections. Therefore, I do not and will never subscribe to the victim mentality, as some are wishing, and will continue to govern the Swapo party and Namibia with firm determination and clarity of vision, to the best of my abilities, strength and convictions in accordance with the oath I made, in the social contract which I have entered into, with the members of Swapo and the people of Namibia, for the remainder of my term.”
In April this year, the Swapo politburo resolved to remove corruption-tainted former Cabinet ministers Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala from its top decision-making structures.
Esau served as both politburo and central committee member, while Shanghala served in the central committee.
Shanghala and Esau were arrested in November 2019 after they were implicated in the Fishrot scandal.
The bribery scandal allegedly involves bribes amounting to over N$150 million, reportedly paid by Samherji, one of Iceland’s largest fishing companies, in return for preferential access to Namibia’s fishing grounds.
They are expected to stand trial on charges ranging from fraud to bribery, corruptly using office for gratification, money laundering and conspiring to commit corruption. The other accused include former Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya, James Hatuikulipi, Tamson Hatuikulipi, Phillipus Mwapopi, Otniel Shuudifonya, Pius Mwatelulo, Ricardo Gustavo and lawyer Marén de Klerk.
Petitioners ‘must resign’
Furthermore, Geingob also castigated some Swapo councillors, governors and Cabinet ministers who he said act like petitioners, chastising their own government for failure to deliver goods and services.
“Governors as the President’s eyes and ears are expected to do their level best to resolve problems at the regional level and to consult line ministers if that is what is required,” Geingob said, adding that if the ministers too are unable to bring solutions, that is when such problems are supposed to come via the prime minister and the vice president to the President’s attention.
In the same way, Geingob said there are some ministers after deliberations on the government budget in Cabinet where the budget ceilings were agreed upon collectively with their consent, would still go to parliament and lament that they have not received enough money for their ministries.
“This gives an impression that they were not part of the Cabinet decision. Such type of behaviour cannot be allowed to continue,” Geingob said.
“Ministers and governors should, together with their senior administrative managements, be at the forefront of devising solutions to the problems facing society, and not join the public in lamenting about such challenges or condemning their own ruling Swapo party government.”
Geingob said it is best for any minister who strongly feels unable to accept a collective decision, which is against his/her conscience, to honourably resign.
(Swapo Geingob) Swapo President Hage Geingob