Sunday, March 21, 2010

President of Zimbabwe Graces Namibia's 20th Anniversary Festivities

President graces Namibia’s 20th anniversary festivities

From Mabasa Sasa in WINDHOEK, Namibia
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

PRESIDENT Mugabe arrived here yesterday to join several Heads of State and Government in celebrating Namibia’s 20th independence anniversary today.

He is among 25 leaders who have been invited to grace the celebrations.

President Mugabe was seen off at Harare International Airport by Vice President John Nkomo; the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda; senior Government officials and service chiefs.

Cde Nkomo will be acting President until Cde Mugabe returns home.
The President was met in Windhoek by Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Namibia Ms Chipo Zindoga.

Among other Heads of State and Government expected is Cuban leader Cde Raul Castro, who will be making his second trip to Namibia in a year after visiting the country last June at President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s invitation.

Cuba, along with the Frontline States, played a major role in Namibia’s fight against apartheid South Africa which culminated in independence in 1990.

Zambian President Mr Rupiah Banda, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, African Union chairman and President of Malawi Mr Bingu wa Mutharika and President Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola have confirmed their attendance.

Nigeria’s Acting President Mr Goodluck Jonathan is also understood to be coming for the celebrations.

Former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, who was a key player in the lead-up to Namibia’s independence, will also be in attendance.

Ahtisaari was a special representative to Namibia for the then United Nations Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar and also headed the UN Transitional Assistance Group for Namibia.

The Namibian government has been carrying out a number of activities in the weeks building up to the celebrations.

These have included public lectures addressed by high-ranking officials, art exhibitions and television broadcasts of specially produced programmes.

The main celebrations take place today with regional events slated for next weekend.

Today’s celebrations will also include the presidential inauguration following Cde Pohamba’s victory in elections last year.

Namibia was first colonised by Germany in 1884 and after the First World War the League of Nations, the predecessor to the UN, mandated South Africa to administer the territory. When the League of Nations was dissolved in 1946, the UN ordered that all former German colonies be brought under a trusteeship system controlled by the world body.

South Africa, which was about to formally establish apartheid, objected to this and started effectively occupying the country. In 1966, the UN General Assembly declared South Africa’s actions illegal and that same year, the current ruling party, Swapo, started the guerrilla attacks that eventually led to independence in 1990.

No comments: