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Coronavirus-Bound Masisi Criticised For Namibia Trip

INNOCENT SELATLHWA
President Mokgweetsi Masisi (right) and Zimbabwe’s counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa in deep discussions at Pres Geingob’s inauguration in Namibia PIC: THE SOUTHERN TIMES
On Saturday government announced that President Mokgweetsi Masisi had travelled to Namibia's 30th Independence Celebration and the swearing in ceremony of President Hage Geingob in Windhoek.

By Friday, Namibia had recorded its third case of a coronavirus infection, after a 61-year-old German national who travelled to the country tested positive.

This came after all the talk on social distancing and keeping away from gatherings by health officials and the first citizen championing it in order to avoid the raging coronavirus threat.

The announcement sent shockwave to the nation and government has seen it fit to issue a comprehensive statement explaining the trip. Angry members of the public took to social media to condemn the President’s move.

Many were of the view that Masisi did not have to attend the inauguration as he had said all unnecessary trips would be cancelled.

Both opposition activists and opinion leaders from the ruling party expressed disappointment in the vilified President. He was crucified for being a bad role model for preaching that people avoid unnecessary trips only for him to undertake one alongside dozens of public servants.

Even though he said an official statement would be issued today, permanent secretary government communications, Andrew

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Sesinyi said the President went to Namibia for a far more important reason than the inauguration.

“A statement will be issued tomorrow. I do not know what will be contained in there, but I can tell you that the President cannot take an unnecessary trip. Government has not shut down. People must ask themselves why the President took the trip. We are a landlocked country and need to work with other countries to fight the COVID-19,” he said.

Sesinyi said the celebrations coincided with the regional state leaders converging in Namibia to discuss issues relating to COVID- 19 at the highest level. He said they would discuss amongst others issues regarding goods and services and defence.

Sesinyi said important as it is going for regional coordination meetings for COVID- 19, the President would not leave with a lot of public service members. He also said strict measures were put in place to ensure that the President and all those undertaking the trip would return home free of COVID-19.



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