Cde Nunjoma booed in Ghana for saying Cde Mugabe is a great leader

ACCRA, – One of Robert Mugabe’s close regional allies and former Namibian President Sam Nunjoma became a pile of embarrassment when students he was addressing at the University of Ghana laughed and jeered at him when he said Mugabe was a great leader.

Nunjoma said: ‘although Africa has finally attained Kwame Nkrumah’s dream of a free continent, it is yet to reach a healthy level of intra-trade.’

Nunjoma went on to tell the students that political leaders on all frontiers stood side by side to wage the war against colonialism and his mentioning of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe as among other great leaders at various frontiers, elicited huge laughter and jeers from the students who asked him to step down from the podium.

For close to five minutes Nunjoma stood silent and embarrassed as the rowdy students took issues with him at the mention of the Zimbabwean dictator as great leader.

They booed and jeered him and some threw stuff at the bemused former Namibian leader. Organisers then pleaded with the students for him to finish his lecture.

On resumption and taking note of the mood in the University Hall, Nunjoma said, "We made mistakes [as African leaders fighting colonialism]," said Nujoma, a reference to elimination of hunger and poverty that continue to grip the continent even after the successful elimination of colonialism.

"It is now up to you young people to analyse [the mistakes made] on how to eliminate poverty and hunger [from the continent]," he said in his lecture.

One student asked, with much bravado, the feelings of Nujoma about Africa’s tendency for some African dictators to hang onto power when people want change.

"We do not know how Kwame Nkrumah would have felt now because he is not here.

However, how do you feel as a Pan-Africanist?" the student asked with such gusto common in university students.

Others wanted to know whether Nujoma does not have a sense of guilt or regret regarding the direction that Africa took on Pan-Africanism, after all he was among the first attendees of Nkrumah’s All African People Conference as well as many other conferences on Pan-Africanism that followed.

"Have we perhaps not missed the boat for not going in the direction of USA [on a united state of Africa]," was another question.

The queues of questions kept getting longer and longer, prompting the professors to cut the session short – Nujoma only had 30 minutes set aside for the lecture and interaction.

Nujoma repeated one of Nkrumah’s often-repeated sentences: "The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked with the total liberation of the African continent."

Elaborating on what brought up the liberation movement of that time, Nujoma pointed out that as much as colonialism was the factor, part of the problem was also the economic strangle on the continent.

Hence, political leaders on all frontiers stood side by side to wage the war against colonialism. His mentioning of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe among other great leaders at various frontiers elicited huge laughter from the crowd.

It was in Ghana where Nujoma was propelled to the international arena.

He was there to attend the All African People’s Conference organised by President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana against the French Atom Bomb test in the Sahara Desert.

It was Kwame Nkrumah who helped him travel to the United Nation’s Fourth Committee of the General Assembly and made his first petition demanding the end of the South African colonial administration in the then South West Africa.

Nkrumah was a Pan-Africanist, advocating the socio-political philosophy that sought to unify a global African community and pursue political and economic emancipation of the African people.

Contrary to Nkrumah’s hard labour on this front, nothing much has happened when it comes to economic emancipation of the continent.

"How to build the future is a challenge to all of us, especially the youth, "said Nujoma.

He pointed at prospects of Inga waterfalls in Democratic Republic of Congo to supply energy to entire continent and export the surplus to the rest of the world, Ghana’s amazing fertile land that can produce sufficient food and export surpluses outside the continent.

"It is important to instil our core values and make them part of our everyday lives," he said of the youths gathered in the hall.

He also stressed the importance of education saying it is the key for future growth.
"We need to produce our own doctors, scientists, geologists, architects," Nujoma listed important professions that he deems key to the growth of the African continent.

The next day Nujoma visited the Akosombo hydropower dam, 120 kilometres out of Accra. The dam was built in early 1960 and continues to function. It has the capacity of producing more than 1 000 Megawatts of electricity.