President Hage Geingob has responded to those questioning the relevance of celebrating Independence Day, saying the day is significant and should not be downplayed.
Over the years, some Namibians have lambasted Independence Day celebrations, calling it a waste of public funds. However, Geingob believes the day is worth celebrating.
“There are some who are questioning the relevance of celebrating Independence Day.
However, when I look at today’s distinguished guests, such as our Founding Father (Sam Nujoma), former president (Hifikepunye Pohamba) and other former freedom fighters and veterans of the struggle who have graced this occasion, I am reminded of those who lost their lives, fled into exile, endured incarceration and abject poverty to liberate this country,” said Geingob.
The president was speaking on Friday during the annual new year greetings to the diplomatic corps at the State House. “Because of the efforts of these outstanding patriots, we can never allow that the significance of our Independence Day is downplayed. As people who engaged in the armed struggle to free ourselves from the colonial yoke, we empathise with those who still fight for their freedom,” he added.
Namibians will celebrate Independence Day on 21 March, which will also include the swearing-in of Geingob for his final term as president. The ministry of information last week said only N$1 million has been budgeted for the celebrations.
During the dinner on Friday, Geingob also told diplomats he was pleased by the manner in which citizens conducted themselves during the elections last year by upholding the principles of unity, peace and the rule of law.
“Therefore, when some contestants decided to dispute the election results, as is their right, the courts, which we entrust to adjudicate, gave the final verdict and at the end, the people have spoken. In this instance, it is important we should accept the verdict of the people and the court and move on with the process of nation-building,” he said.
He said Namibia, as a member of the global community, commends all the nations that held free and fair elections in 2019, particularly in Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique and South Africa. Geingob says the success of these elections is a clear testament of the entrenchment of sound democratic governance architectures in the SADC region and Africa as a whole.
“It is evident that socio-economic transformation on our continent can only take place through the creation of a single market for goods and services,” he said. Furthermore, Geingob said Namibia welcomes and supports the initiative to silence the guns in Africa as a means to end all wars, civil conflicts, gender-based violence and genocide on the continent.
This year, he said, the continent will also be commemorating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
“We are called upon to reflect on the progress we have made in achieving the noble objectives of the United Nations for world peace and shared global prosperity,” he said.
“In this year of introspection, there is an urgent need for us to re-evaluate our commitment to multilateralism, through which we have pledged to work together in unity to achieve peace and development”.
He said Namibia is confident that despite the past decade being defined by rising nationalism and geopolitical rivalries, there still remains an innate desire among many of the world’s leaders to pursue multilateral approaches to solving global problems. Furthermore, Geingob reaffirmed Namibia’s commitment to supporting the quest of the people of Western Sahara and Palestine as they pursue their inalienable right to self-determination. “I wish to state that multilateralism and international cooperation can prevail only through diplomacy and dialogue,” he concluded.
2020-02-24 07:30:31 | 1 months ago