We were not rewarded: Ambassadors

26 Nov 2018 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 26 NOV (NAMPA) - Former National Council Chairperson and new Namibian High Commissioner to Botswana Asser Kapere said his appointment is not a reward for his loyalty to President Hage Geingob and that he has the ability and energy to serve the country.
Kapere made these remarks at State House on Monday in an interview with Nampa, shortly after Geingob commissioned 14 new ambassadors and high commissioners.
His comments follow media reports that the appointment of diplomats is more a practice of rewarding individuals for their loyalty rather than on merit, especially due to the fact that most of the appointees will soon hit retirement age.
“I am not a friend (of Geingob). I am a comrade. Then the appointment because of being a friend is not true,” he said.
The 67-year-old Kapere indicated that he brings a wealth of experience to the diplomatic world, particularly at a time when economic diplomacy is at the heart of Namibia’s diplomatic relations.
“My experience will be ploughed in this appointment and will be used to, in actual fact, do better than those who seem to be younger than myself,” said Kapere who replaced Mbapeua Muvangua.
His immediate assignment is to promote tourism between Namibia and Botswana.
In addition, Kapere will concentrate on the acceleration of rail and road transport to link the two countries to other parts of southern Africa.
Agreeing with Kapere was Namibia’s new ambassador to France, Albertus Aochamub, who indicated that those who were questioning their credentials were insulting professional diplomats.
“There is a lot of men and women who cut their teeth since the advent of this republic in that field. I think that the president recognises that men and women of great stature in this country are going to do well and that’s why they were appointed,” the former presidential press secretary said.
Aochamub will also be Namibia’s representative to Portugal, Spain and Italy. Being Namibia's ambassador to France, he becomes Namibia’s permanent representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
Aochamub, who replaces Nangula Frieda Iithete, vowed to build on the foundation laid by his predecessors.
“My predecessor has done a great deal of work. A lot of the results we are beginning to see now…you have seen the Peugeot manufacturing plant,” he pointed out.
As such, there is a lot of work ahead of him in ensuring that Namibia’s manufacturing value chain is enriched, particularly in the area of renewable energy, he said.
The diplomats will serve for a period of five years.