Swapo Party President Hage Geingob has come out strongly against those expecting Namibia to turn its back against Russia in its fight against Ukraine.
‘’Namibia will not betray its’ liberation friends, because it values the help extended to it during the struggle to liberate the country from the apartheid regime,’’ Geingob stated emphatically.
“Today we have our liberation friends here, represented by ambassadors from China, Cuba, Tanzania and Russia. This shows these are the people who were there for us and where it all started in the liberation fight, leading to how we won our independence. Although Zambia and Angola are missing, i would have loved them to be here. I always say, whoever that was involved in a liberation struggle, somehow, the Soviet Union, Russian people were there to support them, anywhere they were fighting. Now are being asked to vote against Russia. Yah, you got the point,” said President Geingob with a tough-in-cheek laughter, as he officially opened the party’s Third National Policy Conference in the Capital this morning.
“These are the people who were there and shared with us how we won our independence. I understand some of you are young and were not there. Therefore, the young people must know where we are going and where we come from.”
“We will be stupid and ungrateful to turn our backs on those who were there for us when times were hard, not today. I was seating in the United Nations Security Council watching triple videos where Americans, British and France, were defending apartheid regime. Now you are saying Namibians must condemn Russian invasion. This is the problem, and I am glad you are here to see who was there with us, some of you are young and don’t know these things, and I will tell you [sic],” stressed President Geingob.
Namibia abstained during the United Nations General Assembly’s vote to have Russia withdraw from Ukraine. The voting process was held in March, but Namibia decided to abstain.
Other countries who abstained included Senegal, Gabon, Cameroon, India, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Pakistan, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates, among others.
Russia invaded Ukraine through what it called a special operation on 24 February, and to date more than 47 000 people are said to have died, while approximately 15 million have been displaced since the war began.
Geingob told the delegates that the Ukrainian conflict is a lesson for Namibia, because the geo-political situation has led to increases in food commodity prices. “Let’s therefore be food reliant, why must we starve when we have huge tracts of land, let’s make use of it,” he said.
Turning to some of the agenda points of the policy conference, Geingob said that the future leadership cannot be achieved by mere rhetoric adding that ‘’hard work and a high calibre of young people’’ are needed to lead the party into the future.
He advised the youth who are to take over the leadership in the party to ‘’regularly consult their map and consult not to lose direction’’.
The President also reminded the delegates that leadership cannot be achieved through age or gender alone, saying it should be on ‘’aptitude and appetite for hard work’’.
‘’Economic emancipation cannot be achieved through rhetoric, but effective strategy, strong appetite and desire for hard work. It is through hard work, commitment and vision that current and future challenges can be achieve,’’ he emphasised.
The President said to those who always accuse Swapo of living in the past and always referring to its past that ‘’you cannot forget your past when you have a glorious past’’, but said that you should not get stuck to it and look at the future and solve problems.
He further reminded the delegates to deliver tangible outcomes, adding that it has not been smooth sailing in the past seven years where the country has gone through the global financial crisis and the Covid 19 pandemic.
Therefore, the delegates he said, should consider the present realities and the anticipated realities of tomorrow.
Geingob reminded those praying for the downfall of Swapo and who are ‘’obsessed with the internal affairs of Swapo that it is ‘’going to be a long and arduous wait for Swapo to fail’’.
There are over 500 delegates attending the conference which ends tomorrow.