Diescho leaves country

The professor says it is very difficult to have no role to play in his motherland.

05 February 2019 | Politics

Professor Joseph Diescho left Namibia for Berlin, Germany on Thursday last week, saying it was “necessary to get out” of Namibia after his longstanding public feud with President Hage Geingob and alleged subsequent hostility from public institutions.

“I arrived in Europe to join the long queue of African professionals who are pushed out of their countries of birth by hostile and anti-intellectual environments wherein they are not allowed to serve their nations as producers and transmitters of knowledge,” Diescho yesterday said while he was in transit in Frankfurt.

He said he was not certain how long he would remain in self-imposed exile.

“Europe and America have their own disease of anti-foreigners, which makes things doubly difficult for those running away from their governments. I am looking for meaning and relevance in areas where I have some competency and pray to God that something will come up,” Diescho wrote of his future prospects abroad.

Diescho said he had hoped that a small country such as Namibia “with so much goodwill” in its people, could manage differences of opinion better than what the country has learnt from the rest of Africa.

“I have committed no crime, broken no law nor breached my employment agreement [with the Namibian Institute for Public Administration and Management, Nipam],” Diescho said.

Diescho was dismissed as executive director of Nipam in 2015, which he said was a politically motivated move to punish him for his critical column, 'Diescho's Dictum', which was published in the state-owned New Era newspaper.

He said after his dismissal he had been approached by four government ministries that wanted to utilise his skills “but were blocked at a higher level”.

He said banks for which he had conducted services to while he was still working in South Africa - before his return to Namibia and short employment at Nipam - would not use his services anymore since he was now considered a “political risk”.

Moreover, he said the NBC cancelled a one-on-one interview with him on the morning of the production, with the excuse that it was “not safe” to continue.

He said the Namibia Qualification Authority (NQA), which last year approached him and a Zimbabwean national to assist with qualification assessments, had also at the last minute cancelled the arrangement with him saying he was “not welcome due to the political climate”.

Also last year Unesco, after having invited him to participate in a project, was “advised” by National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi that this would “not go down well with State House”.

“I could not even participate in the conference. At the insistence of Prof Katjavivi I was allowed to attend but when I entered the hall well-meaning people from our parliament advised me not to say anything,” Diescho claimed.

He said after having been invited by the Roman Catholic seminary to its first graduation, he was informed three days before the event that he was no longer welcome because there would be “important guests”.

Diescho said he was also blocked from speaking to the Southern Africa Civil Society Coalition of the Catholic Church in Gaborone, Botswana, last year, allegedly because the Namibian government “was not happy” with him.

Diescho said his request to sit in as an observer at the second national land conference was also “flatly” denied by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

In 2016 he said he was invited by the HaMbukushu's cultural festival to read the history of the community, but that was foiled by a phone call from the president's office.

When Fumu Ervin Munika refused this instruction, President Geingob refused to attend the event, Diescho claims.

“And so on,” Diescho illustrated the ongoing tussle with the president.

He said he had “no idea” what he had done to offend President Geingob. He said he had sought the president's advice and was willing to apologise if he had done something wrong. Diescho said he engaged former President Hifikepunye Pohamba and both vice-presidents, as well as intelligence officials, while judicial officers had “looked into the matter”, who “without exception” could find nothing wrong.

“I can tell you it has been very difficult to be without any role in my motherland,” Diescho wrote.

Worse, he said, friends and relatives started avoiding him after having received calls from “state officials” on “what they were doing” with him.

“[We] are now entering a violent and lawless phase of our national history and I do not know where I will be and it does not matter anymore,” Diescho wrote.

Presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari said State House would respond to Diescho's assertions at a later date.

CATHERINE SASMAN

Similar News

 

Okansela moRundu taya ka konga ekwatho kompangu

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Politics

Swapo okwa tokola okukutha miilonga ookansela ye yatatu moRundu, mwakwatelwa mayola omupe ngoka opo a hogololwa, Isack Kandingu, shoka ya tindi okwiiyutha kelombwelo kutya elelo...

Recalled ‘rebels’ threaten Swapo

3 days ago - 14 February 2019 | Politics

Kenya KamboweThree recalled Swapo councillors say they will be approaching the courts.Swapo recalled three of its Rundu councillors, including newly elected mayor Isack Kandingu, for...

Swapo recalls Rundu councillors

3 days ago - 13 February 2019 | Politics

Swapo has recalled three of its Rundu councillors, including newly elected mayor Isack Kandingu, for not toeing the party line. The other recalled councillors are...

Swapo using 'apartheid tactics'

4 days ago - 13 February 2019 | Politics

The Muzokumwe Volunteers Association (MVA) says Swapo, under the leadership of President Hage Geingob, is using apartheid-style tactics to attack its enemies.The association, which sympathises...

LPM tayi tengeneke omahogololo taga nyanyudha

5 days ago - 12 February 2019 | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEOmuleli gwongunddu yoLandless People’s Movement (LPM), Bernadus Swartbooi okwa popi kutya omahogololo gaayehe ngoka taga ningwa moshilongo nuumvo otaga ka kala taga nyanyudha.Ongundu yoLPM...

LPM predicts 'interesting election'

6 days ago - 11 February 2019 | Politics

Landless People's Movement (LPM) leader Bernadus Swartbooi says the upcoming general election will be very interesting. The LPM became the first party to be registered...

Rundu councillors in open rebellion

1 week ago - 08 February 2019 | Politics

Swapo's Rundu councillors have defied a party directive that the town office-bearers structure must remain unchanged.In a dramatic twist yesterday, Isack Kandingu was elected and...

Rundu councillors defy Swapo, elect new mayor

1 week ago - 07 February 2019 | Politics

In clear defiance of the ruling party, Isak Kandingu was this morning elected and sworn-in as the new mayor of Rundu, while Toini Hausiku was...

Parties can’t force councillors - Shakumu

1 week ago - 07 February 2019 | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWE Lawyer Silas-Kishi Shakumu says there is no legal basis on which political parties can force councillors to maintain or change...

Swapo issues ultimatum

1 week ago - 06 February 2019 | Politics

It appears that Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa did not consult with the party's regional coordinators before issuing directives relating to the election and swearing-in of...

Latest News

Logistical problems force Nigeria election...

18 hours ago | Africa

Nigeria's electoral watchdog today postponed presidential and parliamentary elections for one week, just hours before polls were due to open.The two main political parties swiftly...

Hostel a threat to lives

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Education

The Kavango West education directorate continues to subsidise a dilapidated church hostel at Nkurenkuru, despite a 2010 directive by the health ministry that it must...

Foreign graduates protest 'unfair' tests

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Health

Dozens of foreign-trained medical and dentistry graduates took to the streets yesterday to protest against a pre-internship exam which they claim is unfair and discriminatory.One...

FirstRand Namibia fights back

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – FirstRand Namibia bounced back to positive profit growth in the six months ended 31 December 2018 after taking a knock in the...

Our people sustain our group

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Columns

Engaged employees help establish better relationships with customers, since staff are the ones who are actually in contact with customers. This is why FirstRand Namibia...

NaCC scrutinises fuel imports

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Business

The Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC) is requesting input from interested and affected parties on the reinstatement of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia's (Namcor) intent...

Our Achilles heel of accountability

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Columns

Enforcing greater accountability has always been an Achilles heel for the Namibian government over the years. Questions have been raised over whether there is indeed...

RA, Unam sign MoU

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Business

Justicia Shipena On 12 February, the Roads Authority (RA) and the University of Namibia (Unam) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the RA’s...

Mutorwa’s journey with science

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | People

Justicia Shipena Marius Mutorwa is a lecturer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) in the department of health...

Load More