Diescho Calls Nation to Support Geingob

POLITICAL commentator Joseph Diescho last week said his love and sympathy goes out to President Hage Geingob when he says he is going to declare his assets publicly.

Diescho, previously a critic of government, also said he supports Geingob and loves him for his stance but that there are people who have been in the system for long and who have stolen.

Another commentator, Henning Melber, however, said Geingob had not been living according to the rules before he became President. Melber also said he is skeptical about the willingness by ministers to declare their interests and assets.

Both were speakers at a public discussion themed “Government and Governance” held at the NamPower Convention Centre in Windhoek.

Another speaker was University of Namibia’s head of the politics department Phanuel Kaapama and the former editor of The Namibian, Gwen Lister, was the moderator.

“They have stashed their resources somewhere. What are they going to do? We have to support the President to be steadfast on this, because when he threatened them with their livelihood (to declare their assets) they are likely to re-group.

“That is what happened to Murtala Mohammed of Nigeria, when he wanted to stop the rot [and] serve his people better, he was removed forcefully, so was Thomas Sankara, who wanted to change the system, and Pope John Paul I who wanted to stop money laundering in the Vatican were thrown out of the system, ” said Diescho.

He further said the nation should pray for Geingob and stand with him.

Mohammed and Sankara were assassinated while the Pope was found dead 33 days into office.

The Namibian reported that during his State of the Nation Address, Geingob said it was important that all ministers should declare their assets and business interests and that he would lead by example and declare his interests as well as those of First Lady Monica Geingos.

Diescho however criticised Geingob’s choice of Cabinet, saying when people mean business you can see and he gave an example of the late South African president Nelson Mandela who lived up to his promise of inclusivity in his Cabinet.

He said Mandela, in his first statement after the independence of South Africa, promised that his nation will never again experience dehumanisation of one group by another and he did just that.

“The appointment of his Cabinet spoke inclusivity, everybody felt counted and everyone was included but I am not seeing that here,” said Diescho.

According to him, people in the Kavango regions are the second biggest ethnic group in the country and they cannot be convinced of being included when they have only two ministers representing them.

He said Kavango is big and Rundu is the fastest growing town in Namibia after superseding Ongwediva last year but people still feel left out.

“Democracy is about the truth, it is about numbers and representation. You cannot eat alone. Namibia’s first leadership was more inclusive than it is now and currently, not one person from the opposition is even a deputy minister,” said Diescho.

Melber cited media reports of the Brazil trip taken by Geingob, who later said that he is entitled to leisure. He also spoke about Geingob’s alleged involvement in uranium deals before his tenure as minister of trade, saying the President denied any conflict of interest.

“How does he expect ministers to be open with their declarations if he had not been living up to this before he was President? I would like to see how he responds if the ministers remind him of that. Of course, why should they not be entitled to the same that he practised in the office before? They will be reasoning that they know him (Geingob) and how he acted before,” said Melber.

Source : The Namibian