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Namibia refutes speculations of obstructing Botswana’s AU chair

By Staff Reporter

Namibia’s Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation has denied serious allegations published by Mmegionline, a Botswana based online Newspaper that Namibia and other two SADC states sabotaged Botswana for taking African Union’s post.

Mmegionline reported that three countries in the SADC region sabotaged Hon. Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Botswana’s Foreign Minister, in the recently just ended “28th AU summit”

In its statement sent to Caprivi Vision, Ms.Marbeline Goagoses Deputy Director for Information Research in the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, mentioned that the article stated “In August in Swaziland all 15 states pledged to vote for Hon. Dr. Venson-Moitoi, Botswana’s Foreign Minister, but an analysis results shows that only ten SADC states supported Venson-Moitoi in the first round, before two more pulled out in the second round.”

The Newspaper also reported that analysts pointed out that five of the 15 SADC member states; the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania belonged to other regions of the AU, supported Venson-Moitoi in July 2016.

Mmegionline quoted that “Sources in Addis Ababa said suspicions were swirling around South Africa, Lesotho, and Namibia as being among possible saboteurs.”

Ms.Goagoses pointed the fact that “The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation (MIRCO) of the Republic of Namibia reacted to this article by refuting the information which suspects Namibia as being one of the countries that was involved in sabotaging Venson-Moitoi, which is said to be based on lack of professionalism and proper research.”

MIRCO has shot down the allegations as “false information based on suspicions and hear-say of the matter by Mmegionline”

Namibia has set the facts correctly that “Following the endorsement by SADC in March 2016, of Hon. Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi as SADC’s candidate for the position of Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Namibia was one of the first countries to publically declare its support for Hon. Dr. Venson-Moitoi, including through a Decision of the Cabinet of the Republic of Namibia to fully SADC’s candidate. ”

“In this regard, Namibia’s reputation within SADC is well known. Namibia is a country, governed by the rule of law and principles that guide its foreign policy, including at the SADC level. This is evident through its respect and implementation of relevant SADC Decisions on a broad range of issues.”

She noted that July 2016 AU Assembly, Namibia, along with all other Member States of SADC, unequivocally supported the SADC Candidate who garnered the highest number of votes in all three rounds, surpassing all other candidates.“Albeit she did not get the required two-thirds majority, according to Rule 38 (l) of the AU Rules of Procedure. The elections were therefore postponed until January 2017.”

“Following the postponement of the elections, Namibia was selected by the SADC Campaign Team on SADC’s Candidate to form part of an Outreach Committee to solicit support from other AU Member States. During this period, Namibia actively reached out to AU Member States entrusted to the Committee. ”

However, Ms. Goagoses revealed that meetings at the level of Heads of State and Government and Ministers in support of SADC’s Candidate were held on the margins of the 28th AU Assembly, in which Namibia participated.

“During the elections, Namibia and other SADC Member States supported Hon. Dr. Venson-Moitoi, which enabled her to get to the third round, after the candidates from Senegal and Equatorial Guinea fell out, respectively.”

According to her, Dr. Venson-Moitoi’s Campaign did not win her the victory; the support from SADC Member States was a sure demonstration of the unity and bond in the SADC family.

Namibia further refuted “MIRCO stands on its ground and rejects the information in the article published by ‘Mmegionline’ on the 31st of January 2017 and requests the Editor to withdraw these untruths against Namibia.”