EU Representative Bids Farewell


By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK “Opposition parties in Namibia and on the continent are important, but can also be a problem for themselves in African politics.” This was said by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Theo-Ben Gurirab, when he officially bid farewell to the European Union’s representative to Namibia on Wednesday. Antonius Brueser, after a four-year stint as EU ambassador to Namibia leaves at the end of the month to take up a new position at EU Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on September 1. “African opposition parties have many able politicians in their ranks, especially in Namibia. The problem is that they are not very effective due to the fact that their leaders primarily want to compete with a popular ruling party. My advice is that they should reach consensus, stick together and, who knows, they might end up as the ruling party one day,” said Theo-Ben Gurirab in response to a remark made by Antonius Brueser, expressing his admiration for the country, but also his hopes for a stronger opposition in the country. According to Theo-Ben Gurirab, the opposition parties in the country’s National Assembly are important entities. “These parties can be quite serious in addressing national issues. They need to become viable in proposing alternatives, challenging the ruling party as part of democracy,” said Gurirab. Brueser in turn emotionally thanked the Speaker and the Namibian nation for the time he had spent on Namibian soil as EU representative. “It was a most interesting time of my life, trying to assist the country in every possible way. I am happy to see that ‘things’ are moving in a positive direction in Namibia. Therefore, I will use my influence to encourage the new representative to specifically speed up the assistance projects to Namibia over the next ten years,” Brueser, who apologized for being sometimes too straightforward in dealing with the Namibian government issues, said. Theo-Ben Gurirab responded: “Critique against the Namibian government is no crime. Friends speak to each other openly and honestly. We are sorry to see you go.”

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