By Confidente Reporter
THE Namibian Embassy in Cuba last week allegedly defied President Hage Geingob’s directives that all flags at the country’s missions abroad be flown at half-mast and a book of condolences be opened, during the mourning period for the late liberation national hero, Hidipo Hamutenya Confidente has learnt.
According to sources privy to the matter in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Namibian Ambassador to Cuba Jerobeam Shaanika and his embassy staff allegedly failed to heed the Presidential directive.
“No book of condolences was made at the embassy while the flag wasn’t flown at half-mast and the Ambassador‘s excuse was that the book of condolences doesn’t apply to former Ministers but only current and former Presidents,” Confidente was informed.
However speaking from Cuba, Monday, Ambassador Shaanika explained that when the Presidential directive was communicated to the embassy he was not around as he had travelled outside Havana as part of the Minister of Fisheries, Bernard Esau’s entourage who was last week visiting Cuba.
He adds that he gave instructions to his personal assistant identified only as Angela to inform others that the embassy should do as per the President’s directive.
Ambassador Shaanika added that upon his return Thursday evening he found the flag not flying at half-mast and had quickly demanded that it be
“That is a total lie. I was not in town when the directive reached the embassy. I was with the Minister of Fisheries outside Havana who was on a tour of aqua-culture projects. When my personal assistant called informing me about the instructions from the President, I gave a directive as per instruction of the President. However on my return that evening I found the flag not flying at half-mast and I asked as well why it wasn’t done as per my instruction. There is a tendency of people to lie and it’s not good. How do I contradict the instruction of the President when he is the one who sent me here?
“When honourable HH died we even posted condolence message on our embassy Facebook page,” he said. Ambassador Shaanika also referred Confidente to his personal assistant, Angela who admitted that the flag wasn’t flying at half-mast although she was quick to add that it was only on October 13 it wasn’t flying at half-mast.
“When I received the instruction from the ambassador I took the information to the second secretary for political affairs where our local staff who deal with the flags were instructed to fly the flag at half-mast. However when the ambassador came he found the flag not flying at half-mast and he instructed that it be done so. It was only Thursday that the flag wasn’t flying at half-mast,” she said.
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