Windhoek — Congratulatory embraces and compliments were passed all around yesterday for the Swapo Party vice-president, the new secretary general and deputy secretary general at a special lunch with their defeated rivals yesterday.
Founding president Dr Sam Nujoma hosted a luncheon at his private residence on the outskirts of Windhoek for re-elected vice-president of the ruling party, Dr Hage Geingob, newly elected Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba and newly elected deputy secretary general Laura Mcleod-Katjirua.
In attendance were Justice Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Minister Jerry Ekandjo, who both contested the vice-presidency with Geingob. Foreign Affairs Minister, Utoni Nujoma, who contested the position of deputy secretary general, Veterans Affairs Minister, Nicky Iyambo and Swapo Party Youth League Secretary, Dr Elijah Ngurare, who campaigned for Ekandjo.
Everyone was in good spirits as they congratulated each other on the results of the 5th Swapo Party Congress.
Nujoma, gave Belgian guest, Professor Paulette Pierson-Mathy, a special welcome and hailed him for having played a vital role in the struggle for Namibian independence.
"I wish to express our heartfelt gratitude for your valuable contribution to Namibia's independence, especially when you played a leading role in organizing the Brussels, May 1972 and May 1986 International Conferences on Namibia," emphasised the founding father, adding that the conferences assisted in popularising the country's cause in Europe.
The legendary statesman further praised Pierson-Mathy for her solidarity and support during the 5th Swapo Party Congress, which concluded over the weekend, calling her a "true comrade". In response, Pierson-Mathy congratulated the ruling party for its "democratic participation during the congress".
She further elaborated that the Brussels conferences were a success due to committed Belgians who wanted to help Namibia attain independence, as well as the Swapo Party's remarkable work to mobilise the international community.
Explained Nujoma: "During the liberation struggle we adopted three strategies - to mobilise politics within Namibia to fight the apartheid regime, to mobilise the international community to isolate the apartheid regime, and the armed liberation struggle."