Swapo Party Central Committee (CC) members has vehemently denied that the “Go to hell” comments of President Hage Geingob on Saturday were directed to the members, saying the remarks were made in reference to other political issues and was not made in reference to the CC members.
Mathew Mumbala, Swapo’s Coordinator for Kharas region, says Geingob was referring to the recent Ndonga Linena election fiasco, as well as some comments by opposition parliamentarians in Parliament. Mumbala says that the morale was in actual fact not low when the President entered the meeting, but that the members were caught off guard as they did not expect the President to arrive at that point in time.
According to Mumbala, members were playing music in the background, that the song could not start properly. The coordinator added that the “Go to hell” comment is deliberately being distorted and misplaced by the media to try and cast the president in a bad light. “The President is a top politician and after the meeting, he mingled with various Central Committee members and none of them felt the comment was directed towards them. The distortion of the remark is a continued attempt by the media to portray the president in a bad light but they failed dismally over the years. If these remarks were made towards the members, how come none of them came out to show discontent?,” Mumbala remarks.
On Saturday, Swapo held its CC meeting at the Parliament building on the adoption and amendment of its resolutions and recommendations.
Presidential Press Secretary, Alfredo Hengari, has since issued a statement that ‘at no point did the President say to the members ‘go to hell’. Hengari says the President was responding to another issue that was raised with him on the side.
“Some media in this country have a tendency to distort, to resort to falsehoods and sensational headlines when they should be providing news factually. These tendencies erode confidence in the quality of our democracy,” Hengari says.
Meanwhile, Swapo Party’s Vice President, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, says the remarks were aimed at cheering up the CC members at the meeting. The party Secretary General did not comment to a local daily newspaper, instead referring it to Geingob himself.