By Megameno Shikwambi
President Hage Geingob’s press secretary, Dr. Alfredo Hengari has alleged that the mainstream print media was attempting to influence the outcome of the elections by casting the president’s name in bad light.
Geingob has come under incessant pressure due to scandalous events that have lately coincided with the election season and his name has been dragged along with.
Under Geingob’s watch, two ministers, Bernard Esau and Sacky Shangala have stepped down after damning revelations and allegations that they harvested millions of dollars in kickback money for dishing out fish quotas to Icelandic Company, Samherji.
The name of the president has also appeared in the Kora awards court papers and the media have reported on it.
Hengari this week shot back, saying the media was making use of these events to slap the President in the face to sway the vote out of his favour.
The president’s press secretary’s outcry against the media also comes at a time when trade and industrialization minister, Tjekero Tweya described journalists as flies.
“The “Fishrot scandal” and the Kora Awards are, in a calculated manner, timed to influence the outcome of the elections, with more reports expected to be released ahead of 27 November 2019.
The President has been asked to respond to questions on the Kora and “Fishrot Scandals”, to which responses have been meticulously and exhaustively provided on several occasions to domestic and foreign media.
Disturbingly, some questions are deliberately submitted late, with the script already written and predetermined,” he said.
Hengari added, “ In fact, President Geingob was firm by saying that the Kora Awards could go ahead in Namibia, provided that Namibian taxpayers’ monies are not spent to host the Awards.
Worryingly, the statements by Adjovi are not under oath and it is expected that the President should respond to such political propaganda, whose purpose is manifestly to advance the local and foreign media’s malicious and politically motivated agenda before the vote on 27 November 2019.”
However, Geingob has been harshly criticized for shying away from firing Esau and Shanghala on the spot and for sitting on the matter despite his knowledge about it since 2014.
The Anti-Corruption Commission has also said that it had the two ministers under the radar since 2014, only to later state that investigations into the scandal had been heightened after the media expose.
Yet this week, Hengari stated that corruption in Namibia was not systemic, “nor is it endemic”.
“However, the commitment of President Geingob to fight the scourge of corruption is total.
The President will spare no effort to root it out of Namibia,” he said.
But Hengari has asserted that the media is using disinformation as a tool to torpedo the president, as Namibians prepare the face presidential candidates at the polls that can potentially make or unmake Geingob’s final bid at the highest office.
Hengari said the disinformation was regrettable.
“This is an election campaign period, with Namibians voting next week on 27 November 2019. It is a contest and not a war, and President Hage G. Geingob always says: “don’t play the man, play the ball”.
In his introduction at every campaign rally, and prior to that during the Town Hall Meetings in July and August 2019, the President has been saying repeatedly: “Namibia is the only country we have, and we should not destroy it. It does not take long to destroy a country, but it takes long to rebuild”.
Hengari has said Adjovi, who is at the centre of the Kora awards scandal, was referred to the line-Ministers in the organization of the Kora Awards and no negotiations took place with the President nor was he allowed to visit the President at the office or the residence.