Some Namibians have expressed outrage over the inclusion of President Hage Geingob’s four children in the government’s delegation to the COP28 Climate Change Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
In a list published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), four of the president’s children and two other members of the first family were included in the Namibian delegation.
Reacting to the development on Tuesday, some Namibians took to the micro-blogging platform, X, to condemn including the president’s sons in the delegation to the summit.
A Namibian, Chango wrote: “We are treated like orphans in Namibia. Why should the president’s children go to Dubai, and we have to go Swakop? And we still have to pay they don’t!!!!.”
Another citizen wrote: “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?”
Also, a member of parliament, Inna Hengari, said the first family travelled at taxpayers’ expense, and the funds should be accounted for.
“We will bring it to the House when we resume next year,” she said.
However, in a statement on Tuesday, the Namibian presidency confirmed that the first children were part of the delegation but said their trip was not state-funded.
It said: “There is no truth in the allegations that the children of the First Couple travelled at state expense to the United Arab Emirates.
“President Geingob and Madame Geingos paid for the flights and accommodation expenses of their children.
“The Presidency considers these allegations to be malicious and politically motivated, with the clear intent to detract from the excellent work President Geingob and the Namibian delegation have been carrying out at #COP28.
“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.”
According to the UN’s attendance list, Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and Uganda were among the nations with the largest teams.
Nigeria topped the list with 1,411 delegates, followed by Morocco with 823, and Kenya with 765, while the Nigerian delegation includes Seyi and Hakeem, children of President Bola Tinubu, who were listed as staff of the Nigerian government