Outrage As Namibia’s President Includes His Four Children In COP28 Delegation
Some Namibians have been left outraged after news that President Hage Geingob’s four children joined the government’s delegation to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.
In the Namibia’s delegation list, the president’s children were confirmed to be among the six members of his family who made the trip.
Though the President Geingob’s office confirmed his children travelled to the city, it refuted claims that their trip was state-funded.
“President Geingob and Madame Geingos (first lady) paid for the flights and accommodation expenses of their children,” the Namibian Presidency posted on X on Monday.
“The Namibian public and the media should be rest assured that not a single cent of public funds has been spent on the children of the first couple.”
Some Namibians, however, found the clarification unsatisfactory, demanding concrete proof that the trip was privately funded.
Some asked the president to explain the role of his family members at COP28, and why they were on the list of the government’s delegation if truly their trip was privately funded.
“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?” one Namibian replied on X.
“We anticipate a comprehensive report to be presented in [parliament],” said Namibian MP Inna Hengari.
She had previously criticized the government for allegedly funding the president’s family’s trip while alleging it lacked the resources to enable the travel of a member of parliament and other legislative official to COP28.
The outrage is consistent with broader criticism directed towards African governments for their hefty delegations to COP28, which some citizens claim demonstrates extravagant spending.
Several governments, such as those in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Kenya, have justified their conduct by claiming that since many of the delegates represent the media, commercial institutions, and civil society organizations, many of them are not state-funded.