2009 – The year in review
2009 saw various developments in the area of news – especially in politics where many countries in the sub-region conducted national and presidential elections. Botwana, South Africa, Angola, Mozambique and Namibia all conducted general elections during the course of this year, with most of them being declared as having been free and transparent. Here is a summary of other items that made news during 2009…
Pohamba slams civil servants, PS’s
Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba rapped his Permanent Secretaries over the knuckles, strongly speaking out against lack of service delivery and production by Permanet Secretaries.
The President made the remarks at a specially convened meeting with the Permanent Secretaries aimed at enhancing cooperation among ministries to avoid duplication of activities.
Pohamba also had stern warnings for civil servants whom he said where not taking their jobs seriously as they are often seen doing shopping and carrying out personal errands during official office hours.
SPYL on a drive to ‘flush out’ hibernators
The Swapo party youth League, under the charismatic leadership of its Secretary Elijah Ngurare launched a nation-wide drive to rid the party members with dual allegiance, whom it described of being Swapo members by day but wine and dine with the opposition at night.
The youth league, presenting itself as the vanguard for democracy and progress sparked mixed emotions ranging from anger to humiliation in the rank and file of the ruling party by threatening to expose hibernators in the party.
The SPYL took up issue with permanent secretaries of two ministries for allegedly dining with foreign envoys and some members of the opposition, claiming that they were plotting the ruling party’s destruction – a statement that among others ended in a civil suit against one leading SPYL leader Veikko Nekundi.
Nujoma throws weight behind Pohamba
Namibian founding President, Dr Sam Nujoma in an exclusive interview with the Southern Times openly backed incumbent President Hifikepunye’s candidature for oncoming national elections, putting paid to rumours that there were divisions with the rank and file of the party over Pohamba’s candidature.
DRC refugees stranded in ‘no-man’s land’
A group of 42 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) refugees found itself languishing and fighting the odds in no-man’s land – a stretch of land between Namibia and Botswana’s border fences – after fleeing their safe haven at Namibia’s Osire Refugee camp. The group of refugees, among them women and children fled the camp after death threats were allegedly made against them. Namibia’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) allegedly assisted the group in fleeing from the camp and attempted to led it across the border into Botswana, a move initially opposed by Botswana – landing the group on no-man’s land for weeks on end.
I am nobody’s puppet – Pohamba
Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba spoke out against statements that he was not his own man, noting that he is nobody’s puppet. Pohamba, who spoke off the cuff at a national day to commemorate the launch of the country’s liberation struggle in Omungulu-gwobashe, north western Namibia, instead spoke highly of the country’s founding President Sam Nujoma – crediting him as his mentor and long-time friend and leader of his.
Swapo wins national assembly, presidential polls as opposition crumble
Namibia’s ruling Swapo party maintain its pole position at the helm of government after wadding off relatively weak competition from the opposition – retaining its two thirds representation in the country’s national assembly.
Most opposition parties disputed the outcome of the elections,and had since lauched a court case against the Electroral Commision of Namibia (ECN), despite the plebiscite being declared free, transparent and fair by various teams of local and international observers.