The two former presidents Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba did not attend the Heroes Day celebration, which raised eyebrows. It was the first time since independence the two have been absent from the national event.
The main celebration of Heroes Day was held at Heroes Acre in Windhoek on Wednesday and was held in tandem with the reburial of the remains of Anton Lubowski, Peter Mweshihange and //Moses Garoӫb.
The absence of the two former presidents appeared out of tune with their character.
Nujoma’s personal assistant John Nauta explained that the founding father was resting in bed, following the advice of his personal physician.
“He even has to go for a follow-up. The current head of state knows why he (Nujoma) did not attend,” Nauta said, adding that Nujoma needs to rest as he is exhausted. He said the founding father has on various occasions defied his doctor’s orders that he rest. “People don’t realize he is getting old.”
Nauta said that Nujoma also did not attend the Olufuko cultural festival that started last week in Outapi in the Omusati Region.
“President Hage Geingob knows [the situation], he went to visit him.”
Nauta said that Nujoma is not receiving many visitors.
The personal assistant of Pohamba, Matthew Andreas, said he was not authorized to speak to the media and referred the reporter to State House.
However, the presidential spokesperson Albertus Aochamub said he was not privy to reasons why Pohamba was absent. “I am surprised he is referring questions about the former president to the current president,” he said.
Pohamba was believed to be attending a ceremony in China on Wednesday as his name appeared on the Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao’s speech during the 4th China- Africa People’s Forum in Yiwu, in East China’s Zhejiang Province.
Pohamba’s name appeared alongside Togo’s president of the National Assembly Dama Dramani, Malawi Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya, former president of Sudan Abdelrahman Hassan Sawar Elzahab, and African Union presiding officer of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council, Joseph Chilengi.