Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader, McHenry Venaani, has taken aim at President Hage Geingob’s conduct, saying he is displaying traits of “arrogance”, does not observe basic etiquette and communicates in a language that is “unbecoming”.
Venaani said this during a media conference on Thursday following an engagement between Geingob and members of the media at State House on Wednesday, where the president told a journalist that it was nobody's business why he held a closed-door meeting with Mexican billionaire, Alberto Baillères.
According to Venaani, the president is adopting a nonchalant attitude towards governance.
“It is wrong for the president to tell members of the media ‘it is none of your business’. The governance of Namibia is the business of the people of Namibia, and the Head of State will always be asked about governance issues. His job is to explain it in a proper manner. Arrogance is not leadership,” he said.
“I have noticed that the president is communicating in a language that is unbecoming for a person of his stature. He is an elder and an experienced politician, but his recent behaviour needs rechecking. There is no president that has the authority to speak to people as he wishes.”
Venaani further took issue with Geingob’s assertion that he is not an extraordinary figure like his predecessor and Founding President, Sam Nujoma.
“Every head of state has authority and power and that must be used for the betterment of its populace and society,” he said.
Presidential spokesperson, Dr Alfredo Hengari, however, told Nampa on Thursday that the assertion that Geingob is arrogant is nonsense.
“It’s nonsense. This president receives (everyone) with an open-door policy, including juniors of the media like yourself. He does not discriminate. You ask him questions openly. I think it is bad politics to use such language with regards to the president on the part of honourable Venaani,” Hengari said.
He added that Venaani must put things in their proper context, adding that Geingob has gone to great lengths to explain what he means by the “third wave of African leaders”.
He said when Geingob refers to the current crop of African leaders as ordinary personalities, “he is talking about presidents who engage the media in (a way) which he does; presidents who believe in institutions, processes, and systems.
“It’s a gross exaggeration to try and twist a clearly articulated point about what it means to be ordinary,” Hengari added.
Baillères is in the process of buying the Erindi Game Reserve from its South African owners. The sale of the game reserve is subject to approval by the Namibian Competition Commission.
Insulting Geingob is insulting Namibians: Sheya
President Hage Geingob should not be insulted by Namibians under the guise of freedom of speech and political consciousness, Kunene Governor Marius Sheya said on Thursday.
Sheya made this plea in Opuwo, when he delivered his second State of the Region Address.
The governor said Geingob has been subjected to an unprecedented level of insults from Namibians.
Those who propel the practice de facto insult Namibians, who gave Geingob an 87 percent mandate to lead the country in 2014, he said.
“It has never been heard that a president is being insulted by anybody. Even if I am a governor, I don’t have the right to insult the president because the president is directly voted for by Namibians. So, while you are insulting the president, you are actually insulting all of us because we put him there,” Sheya said in his statement broadcast on national radio.
He continued: “I implore the residents of Kunene to condemn the insulting and personality-driven politics rearing its ugly head in the Namibian political landscape at the cost of society. We should, with strong contempt, stand against the insults of the President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr Hage Geingob,” the governor said.
Sheya was quick to note that Namibians who are frustrated or do not like the person of Geingob should be reminded that politics has always been “a battle of ideas, not insults”.
“As Africans and Namibians, it has never been or will never be our culture to swear at and insult our elders. Politics has always been about ideas and finding best solutions for the greater good of society,” he said.
Sheya said this year’s Presidential and National Assembly elections present the ultimate platform in any democratic society for one’s voice to be heard.
“Namibians aged 18 years and above in the Kunene Region, go and register from 08 to 27 July 2019 and vote on 27 November. Your vote counts and it is your right to vote,” he said. - NAMPA