PDM unhappy with Iran’s scholarship offer seeking consideration by Swapo

Eba Kandovazu

A SCHOLARSHIP invitation letter by the the embassy of Iran offering 25 bursaries annually to Namibians did not sit well with the Popular Democratic Movement(PDM) as Iran also requested the information to also be shared with the ruling party, Swapo.

PDM said that it is unacceptable that the scholarship information sent to the Ministry of International Relations be forwarded to the ruling party, Swapo for consideration and “appropriate action”.

PDM Secretary for International Relations and Member of Parliament, Vipuakuje Muharukua says the extension of the invitation to Swapo is tantamount to meddling in the internal political affairs of Namibia, which the opposition party regards as an infringement on the sovereignty of Namibia and its people.

The embassy’s letter dated 14 January addressed to the Ministry of International Relations requested the information also be shared to the Ministry of Higher Education and the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund(NSFAF).

Muharukua in his complaint letter addressed to Iran’s ambassador Seyed Sadati claimed that foreign powers for too long, have been interfering and dictating in the national affairs of various African States, including Namibia, saying that this conduct cannot be condoned and must cease forth with.

“I appears from your letter that your office, being an office of a friendly state, singles out that the ‘Ruling Party’ must be informed of the scholarship offered to Namibians. We take strong exception to the assertion that the state of Islamic Republic of Iran has a relationship with the governing party in Namibia. It is not the purpose of this letter to stifle any relations that the governing party in Namibia has with any political entity in Iran. It is indeed very common for Namibian political formations to have relations with foreign sister parties, based on ideological identity or other interests. Had the said missive emanated from a political entity in the state of Iran, it would be more than acceptable,” Muharukua says.

According to Muharukua, the embassy’s letter suggests that the State of Iran is dealing directly with a political entity in Namibia, while PDM sees the Islamic country as a potentially valuable international partner to Namibia, especially in the fields of science, education and nuclear power.

Ambassador Sadati is yet to respond to PDM’s letter.

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