Movement says the so-called bilateral relations between Namibia and Botswana are for Geingob and Masisi’s political expediency
The Namibian Lives Matters Movement (NLMM) has slammed the recent meeting between Namibian President Hage Geingob and President Mokgweetsi Masisi, accusing the latter the two of using the bilateral relations of the two countries for political expediency.
In a letter that followed the recent meeting, the National Executive Chairperson of NLMM, Sinvula Mudabeti, also accuses Geingob of betrayal by putting his friendship with Masisi above the national interests of Namibians who put him into power.
Mudabeti says the recent visit by Masisi to Namibia was meant to enhance bilateral relations between Namibia and Botswana while economic and cultural relations between the two neighbouring states remain sour.
“The Namibian President has failed to protect Namibian interests and of its nationals within the limits permitted by international law by failing to ascertain the conditions and developments under which Namibians living along the Namibian/Botswana border (suffer) at the hands of BDF soldiers whose Commander in Chief is Masisi, the supposed young brother of Geingob,” says the statement.
“The so-called bilateral relations between Namibia and Botswana seem to only target political expediency of President Hage Geingob and Masisi that is done at the expense of Namibia’s economic, cultural and peaceful relations.
Cunning and manipulative
“The Namibian Lives Matter registers its utter disappointment with the manner in which President Geingob continues to be deceived by a cunning and manipulative Masisi.”
In a rather ominous tone, Mudabeti warns that Geingob should understand that when he exits office, relations between the two countries will be affected because they are not grounded in shared mutual values.
“No matter how much Masisi and Geingob portray at face value that Namibia and Botswana are closer than friends, the nation shall not be deceived by these PR stunts,” says the statement.
“We cannot be fooled by clichés of supposed friendship between two presidents when we know that the issue of the Border Treaty of 2018 between Namibia and Botswana is still lingering.
“It seems Masisi is also taking the intelligence of Namibians for granted by saying one thing when in Namibia and saying the opposite in Botswana.”
In recent times the two countries have been involved in a territorial dispute in which Namibians accused Botswana Defence Force of aggression and harassment against communities living along the Chobe River.
Responding to Gazette enquiries, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Lemogang Kwape, said Botswana enjoys cordial relations with Namibia.
President Masisi recently visited his Namibian counterpart to engage on bilateral and regional issues, including exploring potential areas of enhanced cooperation.