Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) parliamentarian Longinus Iipumbu has warned that disrupting the status quo by having president Hage Geingob step down from the Presidency may impact peace and stability in the country.
Iipumbu made these comments in a conversation with Desert Radio recently, as the nation digests the news of Geingob’s recently disclosed cancer diagnosis, amid calls from some political commentators for his resignation.
The NEFF chief whip and national coordinator believes the move for Geingob’s resignation is being pushed by individuals who are against the tranquility the country currently enjoys.
“We have individuals that are trying to destabilise the peace and tranquility in this country. Cancer is not a death penalty,” Iipumbu said.
He said maintaining the status quo, with president Geingob at the helm of the country until the end of his term 2025 “will not only ensure continuity, but will also promote stability”.
He called on the nation to use this moment to call on the head of state, elucidating areas in which he should concentrate in terms of advocacy and the treatment of cancer in the country.
“Let us leave it up to the doctors to qualify the stages of the president’s illness. We are all out here calling on him to resign, forgetting the fact that for the past years he has been the one in charge and did the best that he could,” Iipumbu said.
He called on the Namibian people to pray for the president instead.
His sentiments were echoed by The Namibian’s editor Tangeni Amupadhi, who recently told Desert Radio what the president needed was to rest not to step down.
“Telling the president to resign is stretching it. What we should tell him is to rest, take time off and wish him a speedy recovery. He needs our empathy and to allow him that time off, without bombarding him,” Amupadhi said.
‘RESIGN FROM SWAPO TOO?’
Meanwhile, political analyst Rui Tyitende did not only call for the reshuffle of the Cabinet and resignation of the president, but further maintained that the head of state should also step down as Swapo president.
Speaking to Desert Radio recently, Tyitende commended the president for the disclosure of his medical condition but highlighted that the Presidency is a challenging and demanding job which can drain a person’s energy.
Tyitende said his call for the president to reshuffle the Cabinet prior to his departure is meant to enable Geingob to broaden his options among his Cabinet for a likely and younger successor.
“The president must take care of his health first. I think there are people out there that are capable of steering the ship. He should not compromise his health, as well as the psychological comfort of his family,” Tyitende said.
Tyitende maintained that the status quo as it pertains to the Swapo leadership would be thrown in disarray, while the hopes of Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah ascending to the presidency could be dashed.
This, he said, is because having Geingob resign from the Swapo hot seat would call for an extraordinary party congress that might disrupt the current order of things at the Swapo headquarters.
Geingob’s role as party president only ends in 2027, whereas his position as head of state ceases on 21 March 2025.
“Looking at those two time periods, it makes sense for him to also step down as party president. But will that be in the interest of the party?”
Tyitende further touched on the open secret concerning Geingob not supporting Nandi-Ndaitwah’s vice presidential campaign at party level.
“The president flip-flopped on that issue. He went to the UN and announced that there is a woman who will take over from him as president. But then, at the heads of missions opening address, he said that he will make a surprise announcement on the presidential candidate of the ruling party,” Tyitende said.
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