Controversy about GRN plates on luxury cars clarified

Niël Terblanché

Ambassador Penda Naanda, Executive Director of the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, in an exclusive statement, addressed misconceptions stemming from social media posts that suggested the ministry had acquired a new fleet of luxury vehicles.

The clarification comes in the wake of rumours that have caused a stir among the public and on various online platforms.

According to Ambassador Naanda, the vehicles in question were not purchases but were temporarily provided by M+Z Motors from 22 to 28, March 2024.

He said the arrangement was part of the logistical setup for the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council High-Level Ministerial Seminar and an Orientation Workshop for outgoing and incoming AU Peace and Security Council members, held in Swakopmund.

He added that that the vehicles were essential for the smooth transportation of foreign high-level dignitaries participating in the events at the coast.

“The practice of utilizing borrowed, sponsored, or rented cars for official purposes, especially for hosting international guests, is not new to the Ministry,” he said.

According to Ambassador Naanda, the use of luxury vehicles serves as a gesture of hospitality and respect towards visiting dignitaries.

“It also aligns with Namibia’s obligations as a member of the international community,” he added.

He added that the use of temporary government number plates on such vehicles further stresses their official status during the period in question.

Ambassador Naanda took the opportunity to express the foreign affairs ministry’s gratitude towards M+Z Motors for its support and strategic partnership, which played a crucial role in ensuring the success of the international event.

“Such collaborations highlight the private sector’s contribution to Namibia’s diplomatic efforts and its role in fostering a positive image of the country on the global stage,” he said.

In light of the misunderstanding, Ambassador Naanda urged the public to exercise caution and verify facts before sharing information that could mislead others or detract from the genuine efforts of governmental and private entities working together for national and international objectives.

He added that the clarification aims to dispel any confusion and reaffirm the ministry’s commitment to transparency and responsible communication with the public.

He also called for a collective effort from the public to avoid politicizing matters of national importance, which could potentially harm Namibia’s reputation and diplomatic relations.

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