Angolan President clarifies trip to Namibia
Sunday, March 22, 2020
Angolan President clarifies trip to Namibia

ANGOP - Luanda

Angolan head of State João Lourenço clarified Saturday in Luanda that his trip to Namibia and flights to South Africa, Brazil and Portugal fall under the exceptional measures provided for in the Presidential Legislative Decree.

João Lourenço was speaking to the press at Luanda's 4 de Fevereiro International Airport, shortly after his return from Windhoek, where he attended the inauguration of the elected President of Namibia, Hege Geingob.

He recalled that, in the framework of the exceptional measures, the Angolan Executive authorised the sending of aircraft to bring home national citizens from the cities of Lisbon and Porto (Portugal), Johannesburg (South Africa) and São Paulo (Brazil), who are at risk of becoming contaminated.

The statesman said that the trip to Windhoek stems from excellent ties of cooperation and brotherhood between the two countries.

According to him, the trip is not a cause for panic, despite the official suspension of flights to and from overseas countries, which is part of a preventive measure against Covid-19.

João Lourenço said that with two positive cases of Coronavirus, registered more than a week ago, Namibia is not a high-risk country.

“I would like to say that from our actions, we try to have the greatest possible responsibility and when we sign the Presidential Legislative Decree we make some exceptions. As the saying goes - there are no rules without exception - there are extraordinary circumstances that compel the State entities, (…) to carry out certain missions outside the country”, he stressed.

According to the Angolan statesman, the inauguration ceremony of President Hege Geingob took place in the Presidential Palace, in a restricted way, rather than in a soccer stadium as initially planned, a measure that helped substantially reduce the risk of contamination of the pandemic.

“The inauguration was scheduled to take place in soccer stadium. As the ceremony coincides with the 30th anniversary of Namibia's independence, the local authorities had the good sense to change the format of the event. And, in view of the privileged relations, as did Zimbabwe and Botswana, we had to find a balance between our commitment to fight against the Coronavirus, and respect and honor these bonds of brotherhood”, he stressed.

As for the criticisms around the trip, the president said that the move demonstrates that Angolans have freedom of expression and are also monitoring closely the actions of the President of the Republic.
Angola confirmed on Saturday two positive cases of the new Coronavirus (Covid-19). These are two male Angolans, aged between 36 and 38 years old, who entered the country on 17 and 18 March, coming from Portugal.