Namibian Leader Receives Liberia's Highest Honor

Wednesday, 29th July 2009
Namibia's President is conferred upon the Grand Cordon in the Most Venerable Order of Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia.
Namibia's President is conferred upon the Grand Cordon in the Most Venerable Order of Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia.
Photo Credit: James M. Garresen, II/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - The visiting President of Namibia, His Excellency, Hifikepunye Pohamba, has received Liberia’s highest distinction.  The Grand Cordon in the Most Venerable Order of Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia was conferred on the Namibian leader by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at a ceremony on July 29 at the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium in Monrovia.

In a citation conferring the distinction, the Liberian leader recounted the outstanding and sacrificial services of President Pohamba in the liberation struggle for the independence of his country. The President, in the citation, recalled the role of the Namibian President dating back to 1974 and 1978 when he travelled to Tanzania and Zambia for military training and his leadership role in the liberation movement, under the leadership of the then South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), as a political mobilizer in 1960.

Among other contributions, the Liberian leader, in the citation, recalled that President Pohamba in 1964 left Namibia for the Organization of the National Liberation Struggle in Tanzania, and returned together with Sam Nujoma in 1966 to challenge the South African colonial administration, a move that subsequently led to President Pohamba’s detention.

The citation recalled the honoree’s distinguished and revolutionary service in the rank and file of SWAPO, a service which won him the election as the presidential candidate of the organization in 2004, followed by his subsequent election as President of Namibia the same year.  Mr. Pohamba was sworn in as President of Namibia on March 21, 2005.

The Liberian leader also praised President Pohamba for his concern as demonstrated in the resolution of the Liberian civil conflict by contributing forces to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

Accepting the distinction, President Pohamba reiterated Liberia’s role in the liberation struggle of his country.  He expressed appreciation for the honor which he described as representing not a personal recognition, but for the people of Namibia. President Pohamba noted that his country’s commitment to the consolidation of peace in Liberia will remain steadfast.

Earlier, the Namibian President was gowned by chiefs of the National Traditional Council of Liberia.  Chief Zanzar Karwor said the gowning was in recognition of the strong bond of friendship between the people of Namibia and Liberia. President Johnson Sirleaf will on Wednesday night host a State Dinner for the Namibian President and Mrs. Pohamba at the Monrovia City Hall.