|August 10, 2007
Pohamba vows to defend Nujoma
President Hifikepunye Pohamba has said that his government would do everything possible within the letter and spirit of the Namibian Constitution and international law to protect and defend Founding President Sam Nujoma and all patriotic Namibians. The President was for the first time reacting to the submission by the National Society for Human Rights' Executive Director Phil ya Nangoloh seeking to bring Founding President Sam Nujoma, former Minister of Defence Erkki Nghimtina, former Chief of Defence Solomon Hawala and NDF Colonel Thomas Shuuya before the ICC court for alleged war crimes.
Pohamba said the jurisdiction of the ICC was essentially limited to cases which occurred after the Rome Statute came into force on July 1, 2002. He also stated that the frivolous and baseless allegations raised by ya Nangoloh against the Founding President pre-dated the coming into force of the Rome Statute and therefore the government failed to understand why ya Nangoloh made such baseless allegations to the ICC. "One can only conclude that ya Nangoloh has an agenda only known to himself."
Pohamba, who is also the vice-president of Swapo Party, said he found the actions of ya Nangolo most unacceptable. "Those who warrant prosecution are the enforcers of apartheid colonialism which brutalized, traumatized, killed and tortured countless Namibians." Pohamba added that he found the ongoing uncalled-for attacks on the Founding President ill advised, counter-productive and a threat to the peace and stability that the country enjoyed today. The Head of State noted that it was conventional around the world to show respect for leaders, past and present. "This is what gives them their identity, their history and their pride, and leaders, past or present, are shown the necessary level of respect in recognition of their contribution to the welfare of their people." According to Pohamba, the Founding President was one of the outstanding sons of Namibia, who started from humble beginnings and rose to become one of the leaders of the struggle for national liberation and independence for more than thirty years. "Nujoma served our nation as President for fifteen years and for his role he received numerous national and international awards, in recognition of his selfless service to humankind." Pohamba warned that insulting leaders, humiliating them or ridiculing them sent a wrong message to the people, youth and the world at large. He urged citizens to concentrate their energies and resourcefulness on causes of action that will advance the cause of Namibians in their quest for a better and more prosperous society.
The President also vowed to defend the Policy of National Reconciliation and said it was promoted by Nujoma and embraced by the Namibian people. "The Policy of National Reconciliation is a constitutional principle which I, as President of our Republic, am obliged to uphold, protect and defend as per Article 30 of the Namibian Constitution."
(New Era, Windhoek)