By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Members of the drafting committee of the Namibian Constitution on Wednesday showered Hage Geingob with congratulatory messages when he launched a booklet that narrates the complexities involved in the constitution-drafting process. Parliamentarians from various embassies, academics, and captains of different industries witnessed the launch of the 67-page booklet titled Drafting of Namibia’s Constitution, on the eve of Constitution Day. The booklet, which is a Chapter of the first Prime Minister’s PhD thesis, provides “facts, opinions and suggestions that held a very diverse group of negotiators together that produced a functional and acceptable document that has received world recognition as a very progressive Constitution of its time”. During the days when the country had just attained its independence, a task such as drafting the Constitution was not easy. As the author of the booklet puts it, there was fear of the unknown. “Even among the blacks, there were suspicions because apartheid divided the people to a large extent.” However, one of the founding fathers Moses Katjiuongua in his congratulatory remarks described Geingob as a computerised bulldozer. He acknowledged that it was because of Geingob’s ability that everyone managed to navigate the boat. “He was an operator that could keep everyone together and allow everyone to have a say, even to minorities.” Katjiuongua views the author’s work as a significant injection to the intellect of Namibia and thus recommends the book to students of history, political scientists and everyone in the country. The first speaker of the National Assembly, Dr MosÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â© Tjitendero equally could not run short of words of praise for Geingob, whom he described as a true son of the soil. “Some men rise up against the ordinary. To the young people and scholars, the doors are now open and time has come to inculcate an intellectual culture. Comrade Hage, I admire your will and determination. Thank you Hage for providing us with a Constitution.” he stated. The only woman who partook in the drafting of the Namibian Constitution, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana excitedly stated that the launch of the booklet brought back memories of the once tough task – the drafting of the constitution. “Vekuii Rukoro, MosÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â© Tjitendero, Nicky Iyambo, Dirk Mudge, Swapo veteran Toivo ya Toivo, old friends are all here at this occasion that gives us an opportunity to relive our historic experiences in drafting the Constitution,” she said. In most African countries, colonialism according to Dirk Mudge was followed by autocracy. Though independence was not achieved easily, Mudge believes a way that would allow Namibia to determine her own future was created. “It was not easy. Some of us were hated and humiliated because we spoke out against a system which was wrong. Thanks Hage and the members of the Standing Committee,” he said in conclusion.
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