Namibian leader praises Mugabe, applauds controversial land reform

Bulawayo – Namibian President Hage Geingob has showered Zimbabwe’s long-time leader Robert Mugabe with praises as he described him as an African icon, says a report.

According to the state owned Chronicle newspaper, speaking during his visit for the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo, Geingboh applauded the southern African nation’s controversial land reform programme, saying the land question was an "emotive issue among many other African countries". 

Geingboh added that the southern African country had suffered for its land redistribution programmed, but the "pain" was only temporarily.  

He further stressed the need for inclusive wealth redistribution, saying this was crucial to bringing peace and harmony in the country.

The Namibian academic-turned-president, however, warned that exclusive economic processes and policies had a tendency of breeding conflict and disaster.

"When we talk about land issue, long time ago in my thesis, I said that Zimbabwe is delivering a child through caesarean section, it might be painful at that moment but after a while the baby will have been born. Whereas we [Namibians] are trying to expect the child to be delivered through the normal nine month and now nine months have become 27 years," Geingob was quoted as saying.

He, however, dismissed widespread claims that he was in the neighbouring country to learn about the land reform programme.

According to the SABC, Geingob has since called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states to urgently address the land question.

He said that his country was going to have a second conference in September to deal with it.

"We are going to have a second land conference around September where we can sit down and interrogate this issue. We can’t hide away from it, we can’t hide away from the fact that some people are still left out after 27 years of independence," Geingob was quoted as saying.

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