Namibian President Geingob caused anger and discontent in his country for taking his four children to COP28 in Dubai.
Namibians have expressed anger and discontent following revelations that President Hage Geingob’s four children were part of the government’s delegation to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.
Out of the six family members listed in Namibia’s delegation, the president’s offspring were among those included.
While President Geingob’s office confirmed his children’s presence in Dubai, it denied allegations that the trip was funded by the state.
The office asserted that President Geingob and the First Lady personally covered the flight and accommodation expenses for their children.
Despite this clarification, some Namibians find the response unsatisfactory and demand concrete proof that the trip was privately funded.
The Namibian Presidency took to X to address the controversy, stating: “President Geingob and Madame Geingos (first lady) paid for the flights and accommodation expenses of their children.”
The statement further emphasized that no public funds were utilized for the president’s children and dismissed the claims as “malicious and politically motivated.”
The presidency maintained that the allegations aimed to distract from the “excellent work” carried out by President Geingob and the Namibian delegation at COP28.
Critics have raised questions about the inclusion of the president’s family members in the official government delegation list if their trip was privately financed.
The lack of transparency regarding the funding sources for other family members accompanying the delegation has fueled skepticism.
One Namibian on X responded to the official statement, expressing doubt and suspicion: “You guys really think we are dumb? Why would they be included in the delegates list if they ain’t part of it? What is the relevance of them being in Dubai together with state delegates?”
Namibian MP Inna Hengari called for a comprehensive report to be presented in parliament, seeking clarification on the role of the president’s family members at COP28 and the financing of their trip.
Hengari had previously criticized the government for reportedly sponsoring the travel of the president’s family while claiming insufficient funds to facilitate the travel of an MP and parliamentary official to COP28.
This controversy in Namibia echoes broader criticism across Africa regarding the size of delegations sent to COP28, with citizens expressing concerns about financial extravagance.
Some governments, including Nigeria, Tanzania, and Kenya, have defended their delegation sizes, asserting that many delegates are not state-funded, as they represent the media, civil society organizations, and private institutions.