WINDHOEK - A scheduled meeting, which never materialised yesterday between President Hage Geingob, Founding President Sam Nujoma and Damara leader Gaob Justus //Garoëb, may have fuelled speculations that the latter was defecting to the ruling party. //Garoëb, in an interview with New Era, dismissed reports linking him to Swapo, saying he was a committed United Democratic Front of Namibia (UDF) member even though he quit active politics in 2013.
//Garoëb said he was not surprised by speculation linking him to the ruling party, as he had visited the Swapo headquarters yesterday for a meeting with the two statesmen.
“I went to meet both President Hage Geingob and the Founding Father Sam Nujoma at the Swapo headquarters yesterday to discuss personal matters, but they did not turn up. Maybe this is the reason they are linking me to Swapo,” he explained. “I will never join Swapo, I announced my retirement from active politics in 2013. I retired as UDF and I will die as a UDF member. No one has approached me to join Swapo, and I will never join them,” said the 77-year-old UDF founder. The current party leader, Apius !Auchab, also denied speculations linking his predecessor to Swapo.
“This is fake news being spread by desperate Swapo members in their bid to get Damara votes. Gaob will never join Swapo – not now and not in future.” No explanation was given as to why the meeting never materialised. Presidency spokesperson Alfredo Hengari said he was not in a position to comment on the unsuccessful meeting. Born in Erongo region’s Omaruru, //Garoëb became the leader of the Damara people in 1982 and founded UDF in 1989 just before Namibia’s independence. He was a staunch opponent of South African rule and led the Namibia National Front (NNF) in the late 1970s. Pressed on whether he would support the candidacy of Geingob this time around, //Garoëb responded that his party has also fielded a presidential candidate, unlike in 2014 when the UDF only contested the National Assembly elections. “I am asking my people to rally behind party president !Auchab and the party leaders in this month’s National Assembly and Presidential elections,” he said. //Garoëb also used the opportunity to ask Namibians from all walks of life to attend the annual Damara Festival, which kicks off tomorrow in Okombahe. The Damara traditional event has for several years attracted a large turnout. The two-day event, which is celebrated annually during the first weekend of November as per tradition, serves to celebrate the rich history of the Damara tradition.
2019-11-08 07:52:46 10 months ago