President Hage Geingob maintains an open-door policy with all traditional authorities and accords high priority to the issues they table to the Presidency, spokesperson Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari said yesterday.
Hengari said this in response to an editorial in the Namibian Sun yesterday, titled ‘Is Geingob overly scrutinised’, following Geingob’s visit over the weekend to the leader of the Ondonga Traditional Authority, Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo.
“The visit by Geingob, the incumbent head of State, carries more weight than anyone else who bothered visiting Onambango palace so far. He is president for all and must be seen to treat everyone with the same zeal and zest,” read the editorial.
“We feel that sometimes President Geingob gets unfairly criticised, but it is hard to defend a situation where he seems to invest his energy into one traditional authority ahead of others,” it added in reference to Geingob’s visit to Nangolo.
However, the presidency took offence of the editorial, saying it is entirely misleading and spitefully undermines the message of unity of by the president.
“The visit is the first on the part of President Geingob to the authority since Omukwaniilwa Nangolo was inaugurated as leader on 29 June 2019. The visit and message of well wishes to Omukwaniilwa Nangolo has been received positively across the country,” Hengari stated.
More importantly, he said, Geingob, emphasising the importance of consolidating a united and inclusive Namibian house, shared his vision about the role of traditional authorities in promoting development and unity, preserving culture and upholding traditional values in communities.
However, he said it is wholly regrettable to note the newspaper chose to plant the seeds of division in its editorial when in essence, the record and transparent level of engagement of Geingob with traditional authorities is unblemished.
“President Geingob maintains an open-door policy with traditional authorities and accords high priority to the issues they table to the Presidency. It is why leaders of traditional authorities participated in large numbers in the town hall meetings of the president,” Hengari said.
“To further demonstrate that the editorial of the Namibian Sun is blatantly false, in the same month of February 2020, in which President Geingob paid a courtesy visit to the Ondonga Traditional Authority, the head of State received at State House for three hours on 19 February 2020 a delegation of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority under their Ombara Otjitambi Vekuii Rukoro,” Hengari fumed.
Hengari says contrary to the “fabrications the editorial of the Namibian Sun wishes to propagate”, Rukoro, during the meeting, singled out Geingob and Vice President Nangolo Mbumba for praise with regard to the speed with which both leaders accord meetings to the authority.
“The Namibian Sun was invited to the meeting at State House, of which that particular segment was entirely open to the media. Such praise is deliberately omitted in newspapers, and the Sun chose, in this specific case, marginal expression on social media, which is not reflective of the views of traditional authorities,” Hengari said.
Evidently, he said, the Namibian Sun did not rush with an editorial making the claim that Geingob accords preference to the Ovaherero Traditional Authority.
Also, Hengari said, on 29 July 2017, Geingob delivered the keynote address at the Masubia Annual Cultural Festival at Bukalo Village, which further attests to the fair and open manner with which Geingob engages with all traditional authorities.
2020-03-03 07:02:44 | 5 months ago