Namibian President backs Cde Mugabe
NAMIBIAN President Hage Geingob has refused to be drawn into attacking President Mugabe and insists his Zimbabwean counterpart derives his mandate from the people after he was elected into power in free and fair polls.
Responding to a student who had asked Namibia’s stance on President Mugabe’s rule at Columbia University in the United States, President Geingob said Zimbabwe is a sovereign state and his country would not interfere with its internal affairs.
The Student, according to reports, had also asked why President Geingob had not spoken against President Mugabe. However, in his response, President Geingob said President Mugabe was elected by the people of Zimbabwe in a free and fair election adding that his country would not meddle in the country’s affairs.
“We have an African way of doing things. I cannot say things to please somebody else, and say I condemn Mugabe. No, I will have a way to talk. We are sovereign countries,” he was quoted as saying by The Namibian newspaper.
President Geingob distanced himself from recent pronouncements by Botswana leader Mr Ian Khama who last week breached African diplomatic etiquette by calling for President Mugabe to resign.
“What I am saying is that we differ in how we do things. We are not puppets of anybody. We had ideas to see how we go ahead to talk as Africans, our own way,” he said.
Reacting to Mr Khama’s sentiments, the Information, Media and Broadcasting Minister, Dr Chris Mushohwe, last week said the Government was shocked by his strange behaviour.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is shocked by this uncharacteristic behaviour on the part of President Khama who until last month, was at the helm of Sadc and should know better that you don’t use the media platform to criticise fellow Sadc leaders as he has just done with President Mugabe. It is taboo in African etiquette and diplomacy. Cde Mugabe has all times cautioned African leaders against attacking each other in public as this would serve to strengthen the hand of Western imperialism at the expense of African unity…All those patting him (President Khama) on the back for a job well done are hypocrites who have sold their souls to the devil and do not mean well neither for Zimbabwe nor this sub-region,” he said.
Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba also lashed out at Mr Khama saying he has become a continental misfit.
“If the sentiments attributed to President Khama are accurate and true, then the Batswana President has certainly exceeded the bounds of both geography and authority.”
He said President Khama was not a citizen of Zimbabwe and therefore has neither the right nor moral standing to call for an elected President to step down.
“He is not a citizen of Zimbabwe; not even a resident. That means he does not vote, the only democratic way of determining the term of a sitting President in Zimbabwe. That makes his views on the matter not just impertinent, but impudent as well,” said Cde Charamba.
He added that it was unfortunate that President Khama was trying so hard to serve his Western friends and that was making him a misfit on the continent.
“No one takes notice, save those he strives so hard to serve and please. Not even his own predecessors agree with him, which is why he sticks out as an oddity on the continent,” said Cde Charamba.
President Hage Geingob