President Hage Geingob has made a clarion call to his Cabinet ministers to have a bigger responsibility and help strengthen the fight against division, tribalism, racism, regionalism and corruption, saying these vices stifle the country’s development.
Geingob made the call at State House yesterday during the last decision-making Cabinet meeting of the year.
“Vices of division, tribalism, regionalism, racism and corruption undermine peaceful co-existence and stunt our development as a nation. They do not have a place in the inclusive Namibian House we are trying to nurture,” Geingob said. He said ministers should be exemplary and exhibit the highest ethos of being model citizens.
He implored them not to be found wanting on the values of inclusivity, patriotism and solidarity towards ordinary Namibians.
Furthermore, Geingob described the year 2020 as an odd one for all of humanity due to the disruption caused by the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, which has plunged the global economy into deep contraction.
“The virus has forced us to readjust the carefully laid-out developmental plans, we had set for ourselves. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that Covid-19 has thrown us off-balance as a country,” Geingob said.
“Jobs have been lost, a number of businesses have reduced their capacities or have closed down completely, leading to the suffering of our people.”
With socio-economic activity slowing down, Geingob added the optimistic economic prospects government had anticipated for the year 2020 and beyond have been placed in jeopardy.
However, he said, measuring the difficulties government have encountered as occasioned by Covid-19, he charged as a Cabinet they have done remarkably well.
“In our fight against the formidable enemy of Covid-19, which caused the deaths of 150 Namibians, we are way below the 4 000 Covid-19 related deaths, which the World Health Organisation, had predicted,” Geingob said.
He said the country has also been able to limit the envisaged severity of a negative knock-on impact on the economy, through a timely rollout of an economic stimulus package of N$8.1 billion.
Moreover, he said, government’s innovative Covid-19 Communication Centre has enabled government to transparently and timeously share information with the general population.
“The international community as well as Namibians are lauding these initiatives,” he said.
However, Geingob said citizens should not become complacent.
“We are not yet out of the woods and should remain vigilant,” he added.
He said during this unusual year of Covid-19, the effective implementation of the task that Namibians had bestowed upon him would not have been possible without the expert assistance of the Vice President Nangolo Mbumba, the Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa- Amadhila, the Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and the entire Cabinet.
“I would fail in my duty if I did not single out our health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula, our frontline health-workers and nurses, doctors, first responders and uniformed personnel, who carried a particular weight of responsibility on their shoulders by ensuring that our nation stays safe and healthy,” Geingob said.