A NAMIBIAN trade delegation to Brazil found itself embarrassed this week after two Cabinet ministers turned up to sign the same agreement, unaware of each other's presence.
Sources from other southern African countries, speaking from Brazil, related to The Namibian that Trade and Industry Minister Jesaya Nyamu arrived at the conference and was questioned by Brazilian foreign affairs officials perplexed about his role.
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Namibia got even more egg on its face when Nyamu asserted that he was not only Minister of Trade and Industry, but also head of the delegation that was to sign an agreement between the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) and Mercosur.
Mercosur is a trading block of four South American countries:Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The Brazilians told him, in the presence of delegates from Namibia's neighbours, that the Minister of Fisheries, Dr Abraham Iyambo, was already in town to sign the agreement.
Officials of the South American country also showed Nyamu a letter from the Namibian embassy in Brasilia indicating that Iyambo was the head of the delegation.
Sources in Windhoek told The Namibian this week that President Sam Nujoma had sidelined Nyamu, without telling him, and instead sent Iyambo to sign the agreement.
This was despite the fact that Cabinet had reportedly approved a submission by Nyamu, who had been spearheading talks on behalf of the Namibian Government to sign a trade pact with Mercosur.