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NO FAVOURS: British High Commissioner Charles Moore. 
PHOTO: FILE
NO FAVOURS: British High Commissioner Charles Moore. PHOTO: FILE

Chevening scholarships: Interview panellists revealed amid storm

STAFF REPORTER
British High Commissioner to Namibia Charles Moore says suggestions that Aawambo people were favoured in the latest Chevening scholarship awards are ‘derogatory’, adding that no one from that tribe was involved in the selection process.

The three panellists who presided over the interviews and awards are from the United Kingdom (UK), Zambia and Namibia – with the latter being Damara, Moore revealed.

The UK panellist is the deputy high commissioner and the Zambian works as a political and scholarship officer at the mission, while the Namibian is a Chevening alumnus.

The high commission came under heavy scrutiny this week when it announced 13 awardees for the scholarship, with over 90% of them from the Aawambo tribe.

The mission was accused, especially on social media, of being insensitive towards Namibia’s ethnic demographics – suggesting the scholarships should have been proportionally distributed among members of various local ethnicities.

But speaking on The Evening Review last night, Moore said: “I can’t think of any reason we would favour any political grouping. Ethnic identities of the applicants are completely and utterly irrelevant”.

He added: “There’s no part to the application form that asks for ethnicity. It’s a question of what nationality you are, so [these] people are Namibian. Being British, I have absolutely no idea whether a surname is Owambo, Herero or anything else”.

True face of Namibia

American-based Namibian human rights activist Fillemon Shikomba was the first to sound alarms over the skewed demographics of the latest awarded scholarships on social media.

Writing on X, formerly Twitter, he said: “Foreign missions need to adjust themselves and incorporate our national agenda when they roll out opportunities.

“The list of Chevening beneficiaries does not reflect the true face of Namibia. It does not look like the diversity that exists in Namibia. And that should be corrected.”

On the show yesterday, Moore said the scholarship programme’s requirements would remain as they currently are.

“I don’t think there’s anything to be done, actually. The process is open to anybody who qualifies [as per the requirements], starting with possessing a bachelor’s degree,” he said.

“The suggestion that we sought to favour one particular ethnic group is quite derogatory to us. It is worth pointing out that this year, the Namibian who was on the panel is a Damara, not Wambo.”

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Namibian Sun 2024-05-27

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Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 353.63/OZ UP +0.70% | Copper US$ 4.80/lb UP +1.35% | Zinc US$ 3 077.30/T UP 0.19% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 83.32/BBP UP +1.20% | Platinum US$ 1 055.12/OZ UP +2.42% Sport results: LaLiga: Sevilla 1 vs 2 Barcelona | Celta Vigo 2 vs 2 Valencia | Las Palmas 1 vs 1 Deportivo Alaves | Getafe 1 vs 2 Mallorca | Real Madrid 0 vs 0 Real Betis | Almería 6 vs 1 Cadiz | Rayo Vallecano 0 vs 1 Athletic Club | Real Sociedad 0 vs 2 Atletico Madrid | Osasuna 1 vs 1 Villarreal | Girona 7 vs 0 Granada SerieA: SS Lazio 1 vs 1 Sassuolo | Hellas Verona 2 vs 2 Inter Milan | Empoli 2 vs 1 AS Roma | Frosinone 0 vs 1 Udinese | Atalanta 3 vs 0 Torino | Napoli 0 vs 0 Lecce | AC Milan 3 vs 3 Salernitana | Juventus 2 vs 0 Monza | Genoa 2 vs 0 Bologna European Championships Qualifying: Leeds United 0 vs 1 Southampton FA Cup: Manchester City 1 vs 2 Manchester United English Championship: Leeds United 0 vs 1 Southampton Weather: Katima Mulilo: 11° | 30° Rundu: 11° | 30° Eenhana: 13° | 31° Oshakati: 14° | 30° Ruacana: 15° | 31° Tsumeb: 14° | 28° Otjiwarongo: 12° | 27° Omaruru: 14° | 29° Windhoek: 11° | 24° Gobabis: 12° | 25° Henties Bay: 17° | 25° Wind speed: 47km/h, Wind direction: NE, Low tide: 11:38, High tide: 05:37, Low Tide: 00:10, High tide: 18:15 Swakopmund: 16° | 18° Wind speed: 28km/h, Wind direction: NE, Low tide: 11:36, High tide: 05:35, Low Tide: 00:08, High tide: 18:13 Walvis Bay: 16° | 23° Wind speed: 34km/h, Wind direction: NE, Low tide: 11:36, High tide: 05:34, Low Tide: 00:08, High tide: 18:12 Rehoboth: 13° | 26° Mariental: 14° | 28° Keetmanshoop: 15° | 28° Aranos: 14° | 28° Lüderitz: 17° | 33° Ariamsvlei: 15° | 29° Oranjemund: 19° | 31° Luanda: 23° | 27° Gaborone: 11° | 24° Lubumbashi: 10° | 26° Mbabane: 10° | 23° Maseru: 6° | 21° Antananarivo: 9° | 21° Lilongwe: 11° | 26° Maputo: 17° | 27° Windhoek: 11° | 24° Cape Town: 14° | 24° Durban: 14° | 23° Johannesburg: 13° | 20° Dar es Salaam: 22° | 29° Lusaka: 14° | 24° Harare: 10° | 24° Economic Indicators: Currency: GBP to NAD 23.39 | EUR to NAD 19.91 | CNY to NAD 2.53 | USD to NAD 18.34 | DZD to NAD 0.14 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.31 | EGP to NAD 0.38 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.68 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.56 | RUB to NAD 0.21 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.3 | USD to AOA 851.84 | USD to BWP 13.58 | USD to EGP 47.12 | USD to KES 132.48 | USD to NGN 1474 | USD to ZAR 18.34 | USD to ZMW 26.81 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index 79150.84 Up +0.25% | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1748.47 Down -0.71% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13370.7 Down -0.04% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 27205.14 Down -0.08% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9141.35 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 353.63/OZ UP +0.70% | Copper US$ 4.80/lb UP +1.35% | Zinc US$ 3 077.30/T UP 0.19% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 83.32/BBP UP +1.20% | Platinum US$ 1 055.12/OZ UP +2.42%