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President Hage Geingob said Namibia’s two-term Presidential limit as per article 29 of the Constitution is sacrosanct.

Geingob released a statement to respond to an opinion piece written by Josephat Inambao Sinvula and published in the New Era newspaper on Thursday.

In the opinion piece, Sinvula argued that article 29 was not cast in stone and that Geingob is popular and has done an excellent job so far.

Sinvula wrote:  “I am of the view and support of the American adage, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

“President Hage Geingob is popular, competent and does a good job; perhaps it is best that he stays in office for a third term.

Conversely, Namibia is involved in a crisis of succession and the economy, and government organisation can be thrown off balance by a change in leadership. In addition, a president with impeccable experience can be more beneficial to the nation’s well-being.

“True, Article 29 of the Namibian Constitution explicitly makes it clear that the President’s term of office shall be five years and that a person shall hold office as President for not more than two terms. I also take cognisance of the fact that the purpose of term limits acts as a method of curbing the potential for monopoly where a leader effectively becomes ‘President for life’. But Article 29 is not cast in stone as the national interest must prevail.”

Geingob said such opinions or suggestions should be nipped in the bud before they reach fever pitch.

“Let me emphatically state that Namibia’s two-term Presidential limit, as per Article 29 of our Constitution, is sacrosanct.

“I have often stated that a principle half compromised is a principle compromised, and as a member of a Government that has worked tirelessly since independence to establish an institutional framework necessary for democratic governance, I do not intend on compromising our principles,” Geingob said.

According to Geingob, as someone who served as the Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly and the Drafting Committee, which carried out the painstaking mission of producing a world-renowned constitution, under challenging circumstances and in record time, he has no intention of reneging on the principles enshrined therein.

Geingob further said he has the utmost confidence that once his second and final term comes to an end on 20 March 2025, Namibia’s democracy will be mature and robust enough to undergo a seamless succession of power.

The President said he would hand over the reins of power just like what was done on two occasions when Comrade Sam Nujoma handed over the reins of power to Comrade Hifikepunye Pohamba on 21 March 2005.

Pohamba, in turn, Geingob said, handed over the reins of power to him on 21 March 2015.

“Finally, I have stated at many public rallies that I have a contract with the Namibian people. This contract commenced on 21 March 2015 and will end on 20 March 2025, and I have no intention of breaking it. “Therefore, any idea of me pursuing a third term as President is not even up for debate and should be nipped in the bud, once and for all,” he said.

Julia Heita

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