Muckraker got some facts wrong

WHILE I am an avid reader of the Zimbabwe Independent, I believe that Muckraker (Independent October 9) got a few facts wrong in his opening piece on Namibia’s former president Sam Nujoma.

As a Zimbabwean who has been resident in Namibia for a few years, I think a few points need to be made and clarified. Nujoma did not try to “hang on to office for three terms; he actually did hang on for a third term until 2004.
In other words he was the president from Independence in 1990 to around 2005.
The country’s constitution was amended to allow for the third term on the argument that for the first term (that began at Independence) he had not been democratically elected by the people but by parliament.
According to them his first “proper” term began in 1995/6 when he was “popularly” elected by the people.
The Swapo party in no way would have the guts to tell him “to go” as you put it. In fact they officially refer to him as the founding president and the “Father of the Namibian Revolution/Nation”.
For good measure, there is an official office of the founding president (like a government department with special assistants) that receives its own allocation from the national budget  
I also disagree with your statement: “Namibia has been out of step with its Sadc neighbours by backing Robert Mugabe’s continuation in office and his assault on civil society.”
I believe there are many more neighbours that have taken the same route, namely Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Swaziland (although technically the last two are not neighbours but are part of Sadc).
The current president Hifikepunye Pohamba is not as young as you would want to put it. In fact at 76 or thereabouts, he is in the same generation as Nujoma, who is 80.
The good thing about Swapo is that there was a relatively smooth succession transition that, although marred with low level clashes, allowed leadership renewal and a change in the CEO of the country without a prolonged stay in office of the so called “revolutionary pioneers of the armed struggle against imperialists”.

Masimba Moyo,
Namibia.

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