WINDHOEK – President Hage Geingob yesterday said former liberation movements in Southern Africa have no reason to be ashamed of being in power for too long, as long as their stay was due to popular democratic votes.
Geingob, who doubles as president of Namibia’s ruling party Swapo, said when the liberation movements were fighting for freedom for decades, critics did not complain about the length of that struggle.
Geingob made these remarks at State House during a courtesy call by six secretary-generals of former liberation movements of Southern Africa, who are in the country to strengthen ties amongst themselves.
The six secretary-generals are Sophia Shaningwa for Swapo, MPLA’s Alvaro Neto, Frelimo’s Roque Samuel, Zanu-PF’s Obert Mpofu, Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s Humphrey Polepole and ANC Ace Magashule.
“At that time, nobody said ‘you were fighting for too long, why don’t you give up?’ But today people are saying ‘these people have been too long in offices. When we were fighting why didn’t they say the same?“ said Geingob.
Geingob says as revolutionary former liberation movements that have transformed into political parties, they were not ashamed to sacrifice their lives, and would thus not be ashamed of being in power now. After all, he argued, they are not in power just for the sake of it but for developing their respective countries.
“Go anywhere, where there were conflicts. We have solved them and now we are moving,” he said.
“When we were fighting, people thought we didn’t believe into democratic elections, so we were told in democracy we must have free and fair elections. When we have now engaged into those elections and we are winning, people start saying that we need strong opposition for democracy to be democracy, especially in the Namibia’s case where the opposition is very weak because we work very hard.”
“And then people start saying that in democracy you need a strong free press. The press now becomes some kind of opposition. It will be news now, headlines will say I attacked the press, which is not the case. Press are all attacking us trying to get us out of positions,” he said.
Briefing, Geingob on the SGs meeting held on Wednesday, Shaningwa said the secretaries decided to establish a parties’ leadership school project in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
She said this will be a joint project of all six former liberation movements involved in the Windhoek meeting.
“The report is very positive, Comrade President. The foundation is already up, and companies to construct were already given the tenders to proceed,” she said.
Shaningwa told Geingob that they are already looking at fundraising and put some fund aside so that once the school is completed, it does not became a white elephant.
“Comrade President, we have also looked at our political, economic and social situations of our countries and parties, we have realised, Comrade President, that we are all facing similar challenges and we have decided that together as sister parties, we should come up with programmes that will solve our problems,” she said.
2018-11-23 09:21:14 18 days ago