HOME Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo says Namibia was not a COVID-19 risk country when he and Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Malanji traveled to witness the inauguration of Namibian President Hage Geingob about two weeks ago.
And Kampyongo says he will on Friday test for COVID-19 to “put the matter to rest”.
Impeccable sources in government revealed to News Diggers that Kampyongo, Malanji and Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Chalwe Lombe were under quarantine after returning from Namibia where they went to attend the inauguration of Namibia’s President.
But speaking to Radio Phoenix Breakfast Show, Wednesday, Kampyongo said at the time of travel to Namibia, that country was not a high risk COVID-19 country.
“We went in the morning and came out in the afternoon. It was a trip that we undertook on behalf of his Excellency with my counterpart Malanji to go and represent at that ceremony. I can assure you that we didn’t travel by passenger plain; we were taken there. We went for a function which was not public in nature. As you know, inauguration ceremonies are a public function where people come and witness their President and that was a different ceremony, it was official and all the measures were put in place,” Kampyongo said.
He said Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya was clear on the measures that should be taken when one comes in the country from a non-risk country.
“So basically, I would prescribe it as a non-risk; Namibia at that point was just the same as Zambia, you know, with about three cases reported. Namibia was not described as a risk area like other risk areas…we have been in touch with everyone that attended the ceremony but what generated the talk was the same concoctions which have not spared any country. You heard that (Namibian) President (Mokgweetsi) Masisi opted to quarantine…I think he wanted to do that but what happened even here, you had people posting that President Masisi had tested positive and all that kind of discussion went on,” Kampyongo said.
“At that point Namibia, was not considered to be risk country and remember that the Minister of Health was very clear and categorical even as he has been briefing the nation and he was talking about what should happen to people arriving from countries which are non risk and the precautions that are taken. So it was just a misunderstanding.”
He said he would take the lead on Friday by testing for the COVID-19 virus so that the matter could be put to rest.
“So to cut the story short, we are all taking precautions just like everybody else is in terms of how we are working. We are working, obviously taking precautions and that should not threaten other people as we also don’t want to be threatened. And Friday, in terms of me, I will be, maybe with other leaders, taking the lead to test for COVID-19 so that we can put this matter to rest,” said Kampyongo. “But to tell you and assure you dear listeners, I am safe and sound; I am just coming out of the gym. We encourage people not to panic, otherwise just to assure you and our dear listeners, members of the public, that we are okay.”