27 November 2012

Namibia: Geingob Draws Large Support

WHEN ‘Hadago’ (Hage Geingob’s personalised number plate Range Rover) arrived at the Mokati Stadium in Otjiwarongo on Saturday for the incumbent Swapo Party vice president’s rally, the crowd erupted in song, dance and praise.

And as Geingob stepped out of the shiny Hadago, the crowd’s response was nothing short of a hero’s welcome.

Red, blue and green reigned in terms of attire but the message on everyone’s lips was “the vice-presidency victory belongs to Hage”.

“There is no doubt, the people have spoken, the war is over, the Bible is finished, Hage is the last man standing,” said one of the supporters who attended the rally.

Those in the crowd included regional governors Sophia Shaningwa from Omusati, Penda ya Ndakolo from Oshikoto, Usko Nghaamwa from Ohangwena, Kleophas Mutjavikua from Erongo, Rapama Kamehozu from Otjozondjupa and Katrina Hanse-Himarwa from Hardap who all publicly announced their support for Geingob at the watershed congress this weekend.

The governors were joined in their support for Geingob by their regional coordinators, councillors and mayors, including those from the Caprivi, Kunene, Omaheke, Khomas and Otjozondjupa regions.

National leaders who threw their weight behind Geingob included the party’s deputy secretary general, Nangolo Mbumba, Deputy Fisheries Minister Kilus Nguvauva, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Immanuel Ngatjizeko, Environment and Tourism Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Defence Minister Charles Namoloh, Deputy Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein, Veterans’ Affairs Minister Nickey Iyambo, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Pohamba Shifeta, Deputy Chairperson of the National Council Margaret Mensah-Williams, Swapo Chief Whip in the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi, Windhoek Mayor Elaine Trepper and her deputy, Gerson Kamatuka, and Katutura Central Constituency councillor Ambrosius Kandjii, to mention but a few.

Business personalities who attended the rally included the co-owner of Paragon Investment Holdings, Desmond Amunyela, Mobipay’s Amos Shiyuka and musician Lazarus ‘Gazza’ Shiimi, who said he supports Geingob “110 percent”.

Others present included National Youth Council’s Mandela Kapere and Natangwe Ithete.

The leaders in their different capacities assured Geingob of their support.

“We are not in hiding. Come congress, we are all voting for Hage Geingob. Why not? I call on all the congress delegates to follow the good example of the Omusati governor and to vote for Hage. Make the right choice because if you don’t, your conscience will trouble you,” said Shaningwa at the rally.

At the party’s Central Committee meeting over the weekend, Shaningwa reportedly proposed that the party should do away with the election of a vice president and rather adopt a motion that the delegates follow the Swapo hierarchy, a move that would have paved the way for Geingob to automatically become Pohamba’s successor.

Meanwhile, the deputy secretary general of the Swapo Party, Nangolo Mbumba, wants President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Geingob nationalised.

“I don’t know how other people will take it but this time victory belongs to Hage. I am very happy for the calls President Pohamba made because every regional coordinator, councillor and mayor he ever called to support Hage is here today,” Mbumba said at the rally.

Geingob in his short address to the crowd said “if God wants me to become a president of this country one day, it will happen”.

“I don’t want you to go and vote because of Hage, but because of the future of this country. Vote for peace and unity,” he said.

After his address, Geingob interacted with the crowd before getting back into Hadago and speeding off.

Geingob is contesting the vice presidency position with Justice Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and Regional and Local Government Minister Jerry Ekandjo.

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