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Namibian Leader on Farewell Visit to Zimbabwe

Namibian President Sam Nujoma is on a two-day farewell trip to Zimbabwe. He is in Harare to visit President Robert Mugabe and other senior officials of the government and ruling party. The Namibian leader hands over power this month to his former lands minister, Hifikepunye Pohamba.

Peter Kagwanja is the director of the International Crisis Group in Pretoria, South Africa. He told English to Africa reporter William Eagle that President Nujoma has been one of President Mugabe’s closest allies. Both men come from the struggle for African independence from colonial powers, with President Mugabe providing support for Namibia and other countries in the region. Both support land reform in favor of landless blacks, although so far Namibian efforts at reform have avoided extra-legal expropriation, as has been the case in Zimbabwe.

Analyst Peter Kagwanja says more and more former liberation leaders are stepping down and giving way to a new generation of elected officials. He says his organization, the International Crisis Group, is watching to see how peer pressure from the new southern African leaders will affect President Mugabe and his policies.