Mbumba to deliver Sona

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Mbumba to deliver Sona

Lahja Nashuuta

Limba Mupetami


President Nangolo Mbumba’s State of the Nation Address this afternoon is not expected to deviate greatly from what late president Hage Geingob would have delivered, but commentators expect the elections and infrastructural development to enjoy attention. 

The Sona provides the President with an opportunity to speak to the nation on the general state of the country, to reflect on a wide range of economic, social and political matters, and to account to the nation on the work of government.As Namibia is heading to the polls this year, various political and social commentators presented their opinions as to whether today’s Sona would be a true reflection of the status of affairs of the country.

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliamentarian Maximalliant Katjimune said he is hoping to see the President accounting for what this administration has achieved over the past five years, particularly commitments that they made in the Harambee Prosperity Plan 2 and the

“The President must account as to why the Rent Control Bill, which was promised to be delivered by 2021 in HPP2, is still not before Parliament, along with several commitments that this administration has made and has not fulfilled. 

The President can fully account for these commitments because he served as vice president to our late president for a significant portion over the past 10 years. 



So, he does not have any excuse,” he stated.

Katjimune said the President furthermore needs to address the question of youth unemployment and unemployment in general, because the situation has reached crisis levels. 


“The government has not demonstrated any clear path of action to tackle this crisis, and this is concerning. So, I really hope that the President addresses this,” said Katjimune. 

He added that he expects an election stunt. 

“Just as much as the budget statement was from finance and public enterprises’ minister Ipumbu Shiimi, Swapo finds itself in a precarious situation now with the approaching elections, and considering the socio-economic climate in the country. So, I do expect an election stunt,” he reiterated.

Sharing similar sentiments was the secretary general of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), Josef Kauandenge, who said the Sona should outline all aspects of economic recovery, especially the issue of job-creation, which was not articulated to his satisfaction in the 2024/2025 budget.

“There are many graduates every year, but the job market does not absorb them. What are government’s mitigating policies on this score? The economy seems to be doing relatively very well. However, there is a need to translate the said economic growth into tangible effects for the ordinary citizens. How will the government address the issue of housing provision, and the fact that farmers are crying today in terms of the drought? One will want to know what his government will do to address these important sectors amidst a lack of sufficient funding provisions,” opined Kauandenge. 

“I’m not expecting much. It will be the usual story of how good the government has performed. We hope that unemployment and the drought situation will be declared national disasters. The allocation to the ministries of youth and gender equality, and the salary increase for civil servants, will be highlighted as efforts to address economic hardships. “The oil exploration and green hydrogen will also get attention,” said Jan Van Wyk of the United People’s Movement.


Political analyst, Ndumba Kamwanyah stated that today’s address will not introduce any new initiatives.


Kamwanyah believes that Mbumba will focus on what late president Hage Geingob has laid out. “Mbumba will not focus or unveil new initiatives in terms of policy directions. From that perspective, I don’t think or expect that Mbumba’s address will see changes and new initiatives. 

What we will see is continuity, in terms of policy direction and initiatives that were started. It will not be a surprise to hear him speak about green hydrogen programmes, the discovery of oil, and increments from the budget. Those are some of the issues we will hear, and that he will channel and echo the late president”.

He, however, said that he hopes to hear about the gripping aspect of unemployment. “It is a huge challenge for our country. Some people are becoming old without having worked once. Even those who have graduated from institutions of higher learning have been in the streets for years. We need to come up with a major programme to create jobs, and to ensure that we decrease the unemployment rate. For a country which has a lot of resources, we cannot tolerate the current situation where we have a ‘kapena ilonga’ [no work] situation,” stressed Kamwanyah.

“As a nation, we must view the State of the Nation Address delivered in an election year with a critical eye, recognising the opportunity for political messaging and strategic communication. While the Sona speech is designed to offer an overview of the country’s situation and government goals, there may be forces at play that alter the presentation of information” said Wade Henckert, a local political commentator. 

He observed that while there may be elements of political messaging and strategic communication in the Sona delivered in an election year, it is essential to assess it within the broader context of the government’s track record, public sentiment, and the realities facing the country.

Among his expectations is the government’s commitment to good governance, openness and accountability. Measures to improve democratic institutions, eliminate corruption, and maintain the rule of law might likewise be highlighted. 

Furthermore, he is looking forward to hearing that the government’s efforts to enhance inclusive and participatory government, including collaboration with civil society and the commercial sector, may be prioritised.

“The President should highlight steps to combat unemployment, such as with youth entrepreneurial programmes, apprenticeships and internship possibilities. Investing in youth employment not only solves urgent economic issues, but also promotes long-term social stability and economic growth”, Henckert observed.

Given the fact that Namibia is noted for its biodiversity and abundant natural resources, he felt it is essential that the President discusses policies to combat climate change, maintain natural areas, conserve species and encourage renewable energy as well as strategies for balancing economic development and environmental protection. 

Besides that, infrastructural development, which drives job-creation and economic growth, is one of the key areas that President Mbumba is expected to touch on. The President could address plans to invest in infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, ports, electricity and water supply, which could create jobs and drive economic activity. The emphasis should be on projects which encourage sustainable development and assist local people.

“The President should emphasise initiatives to diversify the economy and increase resilience to external shocks. This might include supporting high-growth areas like renewable energy, agribusiness, tourism and digital innovation, as well as encouraging regional integration and trade diversification” he continued.


Chief administrator of the Namibia Sports Commission Freddy Mwiya hopes the Sona focuses on improvements and highlights the need for resources mobilisation. He wants it to address the need for sport infrastructure development, both in urban and rural areas. 

Chairperson of the Women’s Football Association Monica Shapwa emphasised the importance of addressing pending facility issues in the sports fraternity. 

“I expect the President to carry on the legacy of our late president, considering the recent success of our national men’s football team at the African Cup of Nations. I believe it’s crucial to address the challenges faced by teams playing abroad, and expedite the (building) process. This, I believe, aligns with what he would have prioritised,” she said.

Former secretary general of the Namibia Football Association Sebastian Kamungu underlined the need for the government to acknowledge the impact of sports on the country’s economy, urging for greater attention to be given to the sector. 

“I believe it would be crucial in the address for the government to recognise the role sport plays in uplifting the country’s economy. Looking at the recent success of the Brave Warriors, I think it’s time the government uses sport to promote Brand Namibia, just like how our neighbours South Africa have demonstrated with the Springboks”.  

President Mbumba will deliver the Sona at 14h30 today.

-lnashuuta@gmail.com and lmupetami@nepc.com.na