Geingob clears air on P-Square
The Office of the Prime Minister has cleared the air on issues surrounding Nigerian music group P Square being allowed into Namibia for a once off music show today
The following is the unedited press release from the Office of the Prime Minister as posted on social media.
OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
SEPTEMBER 27, 2014,
CLARITY ON THE SITUATION INVOLVING THE MUSIC GROUP P-SQUARE’S ENTRANCE INTO NAMIBIA
It seems that certain sections of the Namibian public have misconstrued the situation regarding the music group P-Square’s entrance into Namibia. Subsequently this has opened the door for many people to use the platform of social media to vent their political campaigns and release virulent attacks on me.
Due to the fact that some of the claims made on social media and in several tabloids are so false and misleading, I would like to provide clarity on this situation by informing the public of the following facts.
On Tuesday September 23, 2014, I received a call from the Secretary to Cabinet about the fact that P-Square was requesting a Visa to enter Namibia. I reacted like most of you have, by saying “no” since the group was coming from a region which has witnessed an outbreak of the Ebola virus. The following day, I received information that Cabinet had endorsed the decision of the African Union (AU), which contains recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Executive Council of the African Union at its Sixteenth Extra-ordinary Session on September 8, 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia took a comprehensive range of decisions on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, among which they endorsed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended measures.
Among these measures were that air, sea and land travel be resumed unimpeded, while intensifying surveillance and observing specific screening protocols. Hence the AU took a decision that member states should urgently lift all travel bans and restrictions to respect the principle of free movement and that all travel related measures should be in line with the WHO and ICAO recommendations, in particular proper screening.
Accordingly, people from infected areas are allowed to travel and should be screened at airports, and if one or any is found infected such a person would be quarantined and the others in the group also tested and monitored. If they leave in ten (10) days, the country to which they are departing should be informed so that they too should take the same precautionary measures of screening and quarantining where necessary. The Minister of Health and Social Service also presented the results of a SADC meeting on Ebola at the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, on August 17, which were in line with the later AU decision and was endorsed by Cabinet.
Earlier, I consulted with the acting Minister of Health and Social Services, Hon. Rosalia Nghidinwa, since I could not get hold of the substantive Minister who was in New York together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, attending the UN General Assembly proceedings. However, I was able to get in touch by phone with Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah. Both Ministers explained the same situation to me. It is on this basis that I asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to effect the standing Cabinet decision.
It is very unfortunate, if indeed the quotations attributed to the Minister of Home Affairs and her Permanent Secretary were correctly reflected, stating that they were ordered to change the government position on the entry of people from Ebola infected countries.
I have never in the sphere of administration heard a Minister or a Permanent Secretary talking about instructions from the President or acting President, saying publicly they were “ordered” regarding a decision made by Cabinet.
Once again, I emphasized that a Cabinet Action Letter on this issue has been issued on which I consulted with the Secretary to Cabinet and the acting Minister of Health as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.