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Open letter to Namibian President on the state visit by President Mugabe
National Society for Human Rights
February 25, 2007

H.E. President Lucas Hifikepunye Pohamba
President or the Republic of Namibia
Office of the President
State House

Fax: 221 780/221 770/245 989

Mr. President:


May this please your Excellency!

I am writing on my own behalf and indeed that of all my human rights colleagues as well as many voiceless Namibians and Zimbabweans both in this country and in Zimbabwe.

Mr. President, the reason for this letter is both to formally and directly inform you and thereby obtain your understanding of our intention to register next Wednesday our outrage about the unacceptable human rights, humanitarian and political situation prevailing in the Republic of Zimbabwe.

Hence, the rationale behind this Open Letter is not to embarrass your Excellency and or your Administration.

Mr. President, I am also writing to let you know about our solidarity with the oppressed people of Zimbabwe. Their oppressor is the Government of Zimbabwe under the leadership of President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, who, we are aware, is arriving in Namibia late next Tuesday afternoon on a three-day State visit.

Needless to say, the situation in Zimbabwe is outrageous and unacceptable inter alia because human rights groups and labor unions are under siege, the independent print and electronic media have been banned, peaceful political activity, if any at all, have been severely restricted, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary have been undermined and or are virtually non-existent. An 80 percent unemployment rate and an inflation rate of nearly 1 600 percent have exacerbated hunger, poverty, homelessness and disease, which are on the increase in Zimbabwe.

Mr. President, due to the above state of affairs, for which President Mugabe’s Government is held directly responsible, more than 5 million Zimbabwean have fled their country since the year 2000 alone. Following President Mugabe’s 2005 Operation ‘Murambatsvina’, more than 700 000 Zimbabwean were left homeless. Yet this situation did not yesterday deter President Mugabe from marking his 83rd birthday with lavish and luxurious and therefore insensitive celebrations.

As we know your Excellency, you personally also do not agree with nor do you accept the situation prevailing in Zimbabwe. But we also understand that, as Namibian Head of State, you have the duty and, hence, you are compelled to receive Mr. Mugabe. Hence, we are appealing to you, Mr. President, in your personal discussions, to impress upon Mr. Mugabe that the situation in Zimbabwe is totally unacceptable and embarrassing and, as such, should be brought soonest to normalcy.

On our part, together with other civil society colleagues, we will be holding next Wednesday a peaceful demonstration in front of the Zimbabwean embassy in Windhoek to register our strongest disapproval of the human rights, humanitarian and political situation in Zimbabwe and to express our solidarity with the oppressed Zimbabwean people.

Thanking you in advance, Mr. President, for your consideration I remain,

Sincerely yours

P. ya Nangoloh
Executive Director

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