Namibians are unthankful: Pohamba

10 Nov 2013 12:30pm
ATTENTION: ‘Fredrick’ is the correct spelling of Matongo’s first name (as used in sixth paragraph). Stories submitted on Saturday used the incorrect spelling (‘Frederick’).

WINDHOEK, 10 NOV (NAMPA) - President Hifikepunye Pohamba has lashed out at Namibians who are criticising Government for donating a house to the first Zambian president, Kenneth Kaunda, describing them as unthankful.
The house worth N.dollars 4,2 million, and not N.dollars 13 million as earlier reported, was handed over to Kaunda in Windhoek last week.
The 2,3 kilometre Uhland Street was also renamed after Kaunda as a token of appreciation for his assistance rendered to Namibians during the liberation struggle - the second street to be named after the former Zambian president in the capital.
Many Namibians have since vented their frustration at the gesture on social media, with some criticising Government for donating a house to Kaunda while many Namibians battle to own property.
The criticism has seemingly not been taken lightly by Government, and in particular by the Head of State.
“Namibians are unthankful, for them it is just to criticise and never say thank you,” Pohamba fumed whilst speaking at the memorial service of the late Fredrick Matongo at Parliament Gardens on Friday.
Matongo, who was the Secretary of the Swapo-Party Elders' Council, passed away at the Rhino Park Private Hospital in Windhoek on 01 November after a long illness.
Pohamba said Namibians are “good at criticising” and quickly forget that during the liberation struggle, Zambia which was under Kaunda’s leadership at the time, helped Namibians in their journey towards independence.
“Kaunda provided us with centres where we were operating from to fight apartheid in Namibia. We were operating from Kongamash in Zambia, which is close to the Zambezi Region. Kaunda provided us with food. Zambians sacrificed their lives during the Namibian liberation struggle,” he fumed.
He said the Zambian government also provided the Nyango education centre for young Namibians who were in exile.
“We received help from Tanzania too during the dark days of liberation struggle. We were provided with a training centre called Kongwa. I wish Tanzania’s first president Julius Nyerere was also alive to be given a house here. We have to learn how to say thank you,” Pohamba stated.
The Head of State also referred to a N.dollars 100 million drought relief donation in cash and kind from South Africa this past week.
“I want to read in the newspapers people criticising the donation by South Africa’s government. We just want to take and not thank,” he stated.
Meanwhile, President Pohamba expressed the hope that people who make themselves guilty of constant criticism will not question why Matongo was laid to rest at Heroes’ Acre on Saturday.
“It was not an easy journey to independence. Matongo, amongst other heroes, is a tested freedom fighter who dedicated his life to the wellbeing of all Namibians. He deserves to be buried there. You would not be buried at Heroes’ Acre if you did not fight for it,” he stressed.