Namib­ian Pres­i­dent backs Cde Mu­gabe

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nduduzo Tshuma

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

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