Geingob a 'fearpreneur' Diescho
Top academic, Professor Joseph Diescho, has taken his criticism of President Hage Geingob to a new level, by coining the term, ‘fearpreneur’, to describe the Head of State, following his recent outbursts against journalists at a SWAPO star rally in Keetmanshoop.
Geingob reportedly lashed out at journalists aged between 40 and 50, at last Saturday’s ruling party rally, questioning why they wanted to be seen as the guardians of media freedom, when they did not contribute anything to the liberation struggle.
The president accused the media and civil society groups of painting a picture of a failing Government.
He also warned party members that the country could go up in flames, if the current “peace and stability” is undermined.
“Yes, I can listen to people like Gwen Lister (founder of The Namibian newspaper), who have credentials of the country’s liberation struggle under the South African regime.
“Today, they came from every corner to become guardians of freedom, and to lecture us about democracy,” said Geingob, while asking where these “kingpins” in the media were, who are now between 40 and 50 years old, when the country’s liberation war was raging.
Commenting on the president’s outbursts, Diescho this week described Geingob as “insecure”.
“The question of where these journalists where (during the liberation struggle), comes to play, because the president is insecure. He is spreading fear into the hearts of journalists, and that’s what he does, even to his own ministers. We do not like challenges in Africa. We have a witchcraft mentality, bewitching everyone that is against you,” Diescho said.
“Geingob is a ‘fearpreneur’. He wants a society where there is only one opinion, which is only from him. The young people are tired of being accused of apparently being born late, or after independence.
“You cannot ask people where they were, when you yourself was at the time just a clerk and not a fighter; so where were you also, when Sam Nujoma, General Martin Shali, Philemon Malima and others where fighting? Diescho quizzed.
He said that Geingob was appointed to the United Nations Secretariat, as Political Affairs Officer in 1972, a position he held until 1975, when he was appointed as the Director of the United Nations Institute for Namibia.
“He does not have the credit to compete with real fighters of the liberation struggle. He is spreading fear, so that he can control.
“The more people around you that are scared, the more one is in control, and once there is more control, the more you have control over their actions. Once you have control over people’s actions, that’s when he can control people’s behaviour.
“People fear journalists. Many people have died in pursuit of journalism. You cannot be transferring your insecurities to others. We cannot be controlled by fear,” Diescho said.
Meanwhile, Diescho also told the Windhoek Observer this week that he has been declared persona non-grata by Cabinet members, who are refusing to consider his applications for jobs or his expertise when it comes to serving on State-owned enterprises boards, because they fear a backlash from President Geingob.
The former Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM) Executive Director has been unemployed since December 2015, after parting ways with the civil service training entity, amid allegations that his dismissal was linked to his strident public criticism of the Geingob administration.
During past interviews, Diescho has said that Geingob risks turning Namibia into a failed State, if his administration does not embark on a radical policy shift.
He has recently also been on the forefront of calls for Kavangos to boycott the Independence Day celebrations in Rundu, slated for 21 March.
This week Diescho described, as “untruthful”, Public Enterprises Minister Leon Jooste’s recent comments to the Windhoek Observer that skilled, educated professionals do not want to serve on SOE boards, because of an impression that has been created that these boards are controversial.
Diescho told the Windhoek Observer that he had submitted his CV five months ago to serve on various SOE boards, but was allegedly told that Cabinet cannot accept him.
He said he had approached Prime Minister, Saara Kugongelwa-Amadhila; SWAPO Secretary General, Nangolo Mbumba; Higher Education Minister, Itah Kandji-Murangi; Basic Education, Arts and Culture Minister, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa; University of Namibia (Unam) Vice Chancellor, Professor Lazarus Hangula, and Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) Vice Chancellor, Tjama Tjivikua, but with no positive response.
Diescho believes that he is being sacrificed for refusing to be a “political animal” for politicians.
“I spoke to all of them and they all said that they cannot help me. With my skills, I can serve on many boards, but there is no chance.”
Jooste explained last month, during an interview, that brilliant Namibian minds were shunning SOE boards.
“People say we have so many lawyers, engineers, accountants, and so on, but only a few people want to serve on SOE boards. Some of our top professionals are refusing to serve on these boards, because of the reputation that has been created over the years that SOEs are controversial, and it is true, they are controversial,” Jooste said at the time.
However, Diescho hit back this week, saying that he was willing to take up the cudgels in this regard, but that he had been given the cold shoulder.
“I sent him (Jooste) my CV five months ago. And I also spoke to him on a personal level, that since I am unemployed, I would like to serve on boards, because I have the skills required. But when I did a follow-up to ask what happened, he told me that no one will accept me to serve on these boards.
“He also told me that he can recommend me, but Cabinet (members) will not give their support in approving my name to serve on boards, because they are scared of the president. So this thing of saying that people don’t want to serve on boards, because of this and that, it’s a lie,” Diescho explained.
The academic, who returned to Namibia in 2013 to take a position at NIPAM, said he had been coaxed into doing so by then Prime Minister, Geingob; then Secretary to Cabinet, Frans Kapofi, and former President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
“Some of us have to be sacrificed, so that others can become more fearful. They feel I did not serve them well and that I cannot be loyal. I cannot be a political animal, and I am not SWAPO, by membership. I am an open-minded person, and because of the formal education I have, they think that they will be seen as small if I am appointed to work alongside them. There is jealousy in the system,” Diescho added.
Contacted for comment, Jooste said, “We have more than 500 CVs on our database, and his is amongst them.”
Tjivikua said that Diescho has not approached him.
“No, he has not approached me at all. I don’t even know what you are talking about. This is pure fabrication, and I don’t appoint people on boards.
“He has also not shown an interest, officially, to lecture. There was nothing of that sort,” Tjivikua added.