President Hage Geingob has dismissed claims by Joseph Diescho that he owns a villa in Portugal.
Geingob said this while bidding farewell to Portugal’s Ambassador to Namibia, Fernando Manuel de Gouveia Araújo, on Wednesday.
Political scientist Diescho currently lives in Germany on an asylum basis as he does not feel safe in Namibia.
“Somebody claims [that] I have a house there [in Portugal]… Namibians can talk. I wish I had one there,” the President said while addressing the ambassador.
Geingob would again drive this point home: “Let me debunk this thing of Diescho that I own a house in Cascais. Nonsense.
He must stop this nonsense,” he stated.
In a telephonic interview on the same day, Diescho stuck to his guns.
According to him, this was confirmed to him by diplomats.
“The background I have is that in June/July 2019, I was privy to a conversation between senior European diplomats very familiar with Namibia, during which it was said that President Geingob purchased a property in a posh neighbourhood of Cascais in Lisbon.”
Diescho added that the transaction was made through a local bank.
“I sent a direct WhatsApp query to the president, asking him to deny or confirm.
I even asked him to help me understand that if it were true, what national interest such a transaction served? He never responded to this day,” Diescho said.
Meanwhile, De Gouveia Araújo expressed gratitude, describing his stay here as the best during his career as a diplomat.
De Gouveia Araújo then invited Geingob to the United Nations’ (UN) Ocean Conference, which takes place in Portugal next year. It will run from 26 June to 01 July.
“We are hoping to receive the highest level of Heads of State,” the outgoing diplomat said.
The conference has been postponed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Geingob was also invited to the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries’ (CPLP) conference.
At this point, Geingob questioned the existence of the CPLP.
“What is the purpose of the Portuguese-speaking countries [union] that is opening up to everybody? We already have the United Nations, so why do we need that... how many are we going to have?”
Geingob also quickly noted that in principle, there is no harm in forging camaraderie alliances among nations.
To this, De Gouveia Araújo said the CPLP plays a vital role in forging alliances, policy-sharing and deepening democracy.
“Perhaps, if I spoke in political terms, the CPLP is becoming like the Commonwealth. More critical, more powerful in terms of influence… I want to see Namibia as a full member,” he added.