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China slowdown's impact on Namibia

Photo: WEF

China, the world's second largest economy, has been undergoing an economic slowdown that is likely to persist until the end of the year, and Namibia is affected too.


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      What White Courts, Mr President?

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      DOES PRESIDENT HAGE Geingob want to share his views about the Namibian judiciary but does not quite know how to go about it?

      On Wednesday the president made a telling statement all but undermining the country's constitutional democracy. He labelled Namibia's judiciary as “white courts”.

      Geingob was addressing Aandonga chief Nangolo Elifas and an entourage of his traditional authority at State House.

      Speaking about factional battles for tribal thrones, Geingob said: “We cannot interfere in traditional elections. That is not our business. If there is a tradition, use the tradition... And don't go to white courts. Our courts are basically former white courts.”

      Ouch! What a vote of no confidence in Namibia's Constitution, of which Geingob was the lead drafter.

      Calling the Namibian judiciary “white courts” undermines the country's democratic foundations. The judiciary is a key pillar of our three branches of the state, in addition to the executive and the legislature.

      The president displayed a lack of appreciation for the very Constitution he drafted, because our justice system incorporates courts run by traditional authorities.

      The drafters of the Constitution wanted to ensure a change from the colonial system that ignored other forms of indigenous legal systems and to balance restitution or restorative actions with the dominant retributive penal code.

      To dismiss the core part of the judiciary by labelling it as “white courts” suggests the president does not believe in the key tenets of our democracy, and effectively abandoned his oath to defend and protect the supremacy of the Constitution.


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