In Namibia, opposition politicians are condemning an incident in which president Hifikepunye Pohamba's motorcade was pulled off the road to allow former president Sam Nujoma’s to pass contrary to protocol. The opposition says the action shows disrespect for the current president and is demanding full investigation into the incident.
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah is Namibia’s minister of information. She said the opposition is making a mountain out of a molehill.
“First of all, there is no controversy on that issue. It’s something that has been taken out of proportion. In Namibia, the security of the president has the priority and even when the president is moving he is the one that gets the free way. So there is no question about the president not getting the free way,” she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah explained what really happened when the president’s motorcade was allegedly pulled over for the former president’s.
“The incident that happened on the way to Oshakati, there is no way that the president’s motorcade was removed from the road. By the act of parliament when the former president also travels, he also has the right of free way and that was done…So at that particular time, when the freeway was created, then he decided that he uses that route because he wanted to go to a spot (hospital) which he has the right to do and that is all what happened,” Nandi-Ndaitwah noted.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said President Pohamba according to the country’s Constitution always has the right of way.
“The president of the country is always having the presidency over everybody in the country and that what the constitution says,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.
She dismissed accounts alleging that the president’s motorcade was stopped to make way for the former president’s.
“The president’s motorcade was not made to wait. Those who were in charge of the founding president knew that he was coming. But it only happened that it came when the way was already created for the former president. When it was realized that the two convoys were crossing, then appropriate measure were taken,” she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah deflected comments made by opposition leader Ben Ulenga who is demanding a full investigation into the incident.
“If Ulenga asked a question, he should ask the question to the state or the government, he would get an answer. Why does he choose always to do what he wants to do through the media?” she asked.
Nandi-Ndaitwah continued, “It is not true and I don’t know what Ulenga is trying to achieve because the police did what they could do under the circumstances, and I want to underline that. They did what they could do under the circumstances,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.
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