Official opposition Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani says the head of state does not need sponsorship for treatment, underlining that the timing and space to question president Hage Geingob are not now.
Geingob on Wednesday revealed he has accepted an offer by scientists and medical professionals in Los Angeles to undergo cancer treatment in the United States of America. He left on Wednesday evening for seven days of treatment.Vice president Nangolo Mbumba will be acting during Geingob’s absence.
The Presidency announced at the end of last week that medical tests undergone by Geingob detected the presence of cancerous cells in his body.
“When a man is unwell, we respect the space of healing. There will be opportune time to question president Geingob on who offered him what services. Now he must heal and get well.
“Safe to say, no president of a country needs a sponsorship from anyone to get hospitalised,” Venaani said.
Landless People’s Movement (LPM) spokesperson Lifalaza Simataa said the party is open to external assistance offered to Geingob.
“We don’t see anything that is offered. We do not see much issue with this. At the end of the day as the rival parties, we want what’s best for the country, not necessarily to have any animosity against the president,” said Lifalaza.
He expressed the party’s ethical dilemma regarding Geingob’s health, emphasising the importance of health matters as private and the potential biases and stigmatisation that can arise.
The United Democratic Front (UDF) expressed a clear stance on discussions about Geingob’s health.
UDF president Hendrik Gaobaeb deemed the discussion as inhumane and emphasised the need for privacy and sympathy despite the president holding a public office.
“I don’t want to discuss it. We will rather direct a letter to the Presidency,” he said.
The Presidency stated that most of Geingob’s treatment will take place locally.
“Whilst 95% of the treatment for the cancerous cells will be carried out in Namibia, the Presidency wishes to confirm that the treatment the president will undergo in the United States (US) is limited to seven days,” the statement reads.
It added: “The travel, medical and accommodation expenses of the president will not be incurred by the government.”
Questions sent to State House yesterday on details of the trip, including who was sponsoring the president’s trip and who would be part of the team travelling with him, went unanswered.
Political analyst Joseph Diescho on Wednesday questioned why Geingob accepted an offer of medical care in the US and made reference to the state of the health facilities across the country.
“While we wish our president well and a speedy recovery, we cannot forget the pain and suffering that our African leaders inflict upon their citizens. Namibia’s health facilities are falling apart,” Diescho said.
He said he knew for a while that Geingob was to be flown to the US for medical treatment.
Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) deputy president Kalimbo Iipumbu has dismissed concerns about the financial aspect of the president’s medical treatment in the US.
Iipumbu emphasised the president’s pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability in the country.
He called for unity for all irrespective of the political differences during Geingob’s health challenge.
Some Namibians questioned the move for Geingob to be treated in the USA. Here are some of their comments:
“Why outside the country??? He wants to say there is no hospital in the country or what????” – Efenge Efenge.
“Take your brothers and sisters in Katutura Hospital with you Mr President. They also need the same attention,” – Justin Swart.
“So, we are sending a black president from Namibia to a country of imperialists or they ain’t anymore?? What a double standard indeed! One time we are fighting and lambasting imperialism and it’s shortcomings and another we are able to send a whole vulnerable black president, maybe to be devoured by them for all they like, “ – Rirua Komeheke.
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