Chamisa salutes late Namibian President Geingob; says he never jailed opponents

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By Leopold Munhende | Chief Correspondent

OPPOSITION leader Nelson Chamisa has saluted the late Namibian President Hage Geingob who passed earlier this month, describing him as an African giant and true democrat who never arrested his opponents or disrespected basic tenets of democracy.

Geingob succumbed to cancer on February 4, having been at the helm of Namibia’s government since 2015.

Namibia announced a month-long mourning period which will see Geingob being buried on February 25.

Speaking after signing Geingob’s condolence book at the Namibian Embassy, Chamisa said the late leader’s life should be used by other presidents as an example of a true revolutionary.

He took a jibe at President Emmerson Mnangagwa, indicating that Geingob respected dissent as being part of the country’s democracy.

“I am here to pay my condolences to this giant, icon and doyen of democracy who contributed so much not just to Namibia but Africa. He made a difference, he was a democrat, a believer in justice and freedom,” said Chamisa.

“He did not arrest opponents, he did not incarcerate those who differed with him, he held elections without undermining their integrity. He observed the guidelines on elections within SADC so for that reason we honour him.”

Chamisa signed Geingob’s condolence book at the Namibian Embassy

Mnangagwa kept opposition figure Job Sikhala in pretrial detention for 595 days, Jacob Ngarivhume for months and several human rights activists jailed for acting against his interests.

“He has created the path, ours is to walk in his footsteps, ours is to uplift their legacy as young Africans,” said Chamisa.

“It is a big lesson to those in the region who are still laggards in observing free elections, democracy to also take a leaf from what President Geingob offered.”

Geingob was one of several regional leaders who entertained Chamisa’s former party Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) on their sojourns within SADC after Zimbabwe’s questionable elections in August.

With the election being dismissed by every electoral body, Chamisa sought solidarity which he said Geingob offered.

Added Chamisa: “We engaged him, we sent a team to Namibia and we are happy that he received our team through the Foreign Office.”