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President "never met" generals

By Dr Albert Kawana
On Wednesday, 17 October 2012, some print media published their leading stories under the headlines such as "SWAPO at Crossroads: Generals withdraw Under Pressure".

It is alleged in some print media that the President had met the retired Generals and requested them to withdraw as delegates and candidates to the forthcoming SWAPO PARTY Congress.

It is also stated that the President is said to have made the request to save him embarrassment since the retired Generals are still perceived to be under his command. The Office of the President is issuing this Press Release to provide the facts:
At no point did the President invite or meet with the three Generals regarding their nomination as delegates and candidates to the Congress by the SWAPO Party Youth League nor did the President meet with those who nominated them.

The President did not make any statement or any promise to the retired Generals as alleged in the print media. The relationship between the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Namibian Defense Force, including the retired Generals, is very healthy.

Having provided the facts, the Office of the President would like to state the following:
we fully respect and abide by the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia which guarantees the fundamental rights of all Namibians, including the right to freedom of expression. There are officials in the Office of the President from whom correct information and facts could be obtained as to whether or not the purported meeting between the President and the retired Generals had taken place. Unfortunately, some newspapers deliberately chose to fabricate a story that has no factual basis whatsoever.

Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Namibian Constitution. However, the right to fabricate stories and spread falsehoods is not. It is even more worrying when such falsehoods are attributed to the Head of State.

While there appears to be excitement regarding the forthcoming Congress of the SWAPO Party especially by the print media, all media houses are advised to verify their facts.

To spread untruths that can cause uneasiness in our peaceful country should be avoided at all cost. We appeal to all patriotic Namibians to continue with the promotion of peace, harmony and stability in our country. We should continue to promote the motto of ONE NAMIBIA ONE NATION.

NB: Dr. Albert Kawana, MP, is MINISTER OF PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS





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