The Ashanti people say one falsehood spoils a thousand truths. We would like to counsel the merchants of falsehoods, whose preoccupation is to distort the truth, to take heed of another African proverb that says ashes boomerang into the faces of those throwing them.
Alarmist armchair critics, who have chosen to see no good in whatever the Geingob administration does – for reasons known only to them – dabbled in gutter journalism by maliciously peddling all sorts of falsehoods imaginable with regard to President hage Geingob’s recent trip to the United States of America.
Aided by social and other media, the detractors downplayed the importance of the trip, notwithstanding the fact it involved matters of State at the UN General Assembly (UNGA), where the President’s presence was a must, as it was with other heads of State, given that one cannot just delegate a junior official.
Geingob at the UNGA spoke on key policy matters, including climate change, gender parity, development financing, poverty alleviation, inclusivity and transparency. Are these goals not important?
The President also saw the need to market Namibia as a sound investment destination and we trust he did so to the best of his ability.
Why any sane person would suggest the President was paid for interviews conducted with the US media is beyond us.
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, The Economist, Forbes and Reuters are reputable publishing houses guided by the highest standards. These are not Mickey Mouse media houses.
To put this in perspective, the Namibian government would have spent millions to get the same kind of coverage through advertising, as a free media interview is the most cost-effective way to get one’s message to a global audience, compared to the cost of advertising in major media.
To cast aspersions in the minds of the gullible concerning the planned phosphate mining project and make insinuations that Geingob sought to influence the process is an act of a demented mind, as there is no iota of evidence to support such unsubstantiated allegations dreamt up by self-appointed armchair critics.
There are already indications the visit was fruitful and that a big delegation of US businesspeople will attend the International Investor Conference planned for Windhoek in November, while New Jersey Chamber of Commerce has already indicated it will reciprocate the Namibian delegation’s visit by visiting Namibia early next year under the theme: ‘Namibia – Getway into SADC’.
The problem with some of his critics is that they have chosen to see no good in whatever Geingob does for the country, no matter how well meaning.
Why should the President pay or be paid by anyone – not to speak of reputable news organisations – as alleged, to market Namibia as a favourable investment destination and as an oasis of peace, good governance and democracy.
When Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos became possibly the first African presidential couple to publicly declare their personal assets some mischievous critics were at it once again and caused a hullaballoo with all sorts of ill-intended questions to attempt to cast a shadow of suspicion over that historic declaration.
When Geingob unveiled the much-acclaimed action plan to bring about prosperity for all, the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), some critics again missed the point, saying the plan was a “duplication” of existing national development plans and Vision 2030.
The criticism was made regardless of the fact that Geingob stressed that “the HPP does not replace any national development roadmap, but aims to complement the long-term national goal for prosperity”. At the launch of HPP, the critics again conveniently chose to ignore the fact that the HPP was birthed after extensive consultative townhall meetings held by the President in all 14 regions.
On the thorny issue of the struggle kids Geingob also recently took a lot of flack, but in all fairness should be commended for devising a pragmatic solution to what was simply a long-simmering and explosive situation that has remained unresolved for some time.
The President should remain steadfast in his course and should not be distracted by sinister attempts to undermine his work by individuals whose distortions will surely not carry the day. For just as light prevails over darkness the truth will prevail over falsehoods.