State House gathering was reckless

23 March 2020 | Opinion

President Hage Geingob's second term has started off on a note of broken promises. His crowded inauguration on Saturday broke the very broad policy pronouncements he made just last week.

In fact, the very reason why the event did not take place at Independence Stadium as originally planned was because of efforts to avoid big crowds and avoid the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

State House on Saturday was teeming with hundreds of guests, over 400 people, some from countries with confirmed cases of the virus.

In Botswana, the nurses' union issued a statement on Saturday to question the wisdom of President Mokgweetsi Masisi attending Geingob's inauguration when his government announced a ban on foreign travelling. They asked that he be quarantined.

How does President Geingob expect the rest of the nation to comply with his orders on the coronavirus when he himself broke them within days of announcing them? Is it an issue of classism; that only the common man must comply?

The coronavirus knows no status, nor class. Over the weekend, it killed Congolese music star Aurlus Mabélé and former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz.

President Geingob, whom the nation has bestowed another mandate to lead the country for the next five years, ought to be better protected by those around him. People around him must protect both his health and his integrity – none of which happened on Saturday.

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