WINDHOEK, December 5 — Outrage has erupted in Namibia as it was revealed that President Hage Geingob’s four children were part of the government’s delegation to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai. Six family members, including the president’s children, were listed as part of Namibia’s delegation. President Geingob’s office confirmed their presence but denied claims of state-funded travel, asserting that the president and first lady personally covered the expenses.
The Namibian Presidency stated on Monday, “President Geingob and Madame Geingos paid for the flights and accommodation expenses of their children,” emphasizing that no public funds were used for their travel. The presidency dismissed the claims as “malicious and politically motivated,” aiming to divert attention from the delegation’s work at COP28.
However, public dissatisfaction persists, with critics demanding a more detailed explanation of the family’s role and why they were included in the government’s delegation if privately funded. Some citizens expressed scepticism, questioning the inclusion of the president’s family members in the official list.
Namibian MP Inna Hengari called for a comprehensive report to be presented in parliament, urging transparency regarding the funding and the nature of the family’s involvement. Earlier, Hengari criticized the government for allegedly sponsoring the president’s family’s travel while claiming insufficient funds for an MP and parliamentary official to attend COP28.
This controversy reflects broader criticism across Africa for sending large delegations to COP28, with citizens questioning the financial prudence of such decisions. While some governments, including Nigeria, Tanzania, and Kenya, defended their delegations, citing representation from media, civil society organizations, and private institutions, scepticism remains about the transparency and accountability of these arrangements.