• February 23rd, 2020

‘I am a different Hage’… Geingob promises business unusual



President Hage Geingob yesterday strongly cautioned his cabinet ministers that they will no longer conduct business as usual, warning that the bar of performance would be set high this time around. 
Geingob during the official opening of Cabinet declared 2020, as a year of introspection, saying such a theme provide clarity for self-correction. 

The head of state warned ministers to avoid sitting on capital projects, which ends up disadvantaging Namibians. 

He announced the government must cease from fruitless international travels, except where the travel is essential and beneficial to Namibia’s national interests.

 In this regard, he said, he had decided not to travel until June, and to do so only afterward if necessary. 
 He says these changes are only the start of things to come in the next government. 
Geingob further warned the persistent lack of implementation of government policies and programmes cannot continue any longer.

“Those who are lucky to serve in the next Cabinet should expect that their level of performance is very high. There are ministers shying away. Let us address bread and butter issues. I am a different Hage… I heard the complaints of the people,” he remarked. 

Political Analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah feels Geingob’s speech touched on many issues, some very important and others unnecessary. 

“But if one tries to summarise the President’s key message, one thing is clear from the speech: ‘business as usual’, in terms of how government does its business, should be a thing of the past,” he said yesterday. 
“The whole “introspection” theme is rooted in the humbling notion of looking inward (individually and collectively) in search of answers or solutions that can improve the current situation for all Namibians. So, in a way, he was reading a riot act to the ministers, as implementors, promoters, and interpreters of the President’s vision, to remind them of what they did not achieve in terms of his grand vision.” 

Geingob also called on Cabinet ministers to stand firm, strong, proud and defend the government against those who seek to weaken it. 

He also promised that the size of Cabinet shall be reduced from the current bloated system and an attempt at 50/50 gender representation shall be made. 

He said he is trying to figure out how he can combine some ministries.
For those who will be fortunate to serve in the next Cabinet, Geingob said he would expect from them to declare their assets publicly as he has done. 

“Only one minister, Calle Schlettwein has emulated me and my wife’s example and has declared his assets in the past. Others have declared in parliament and to the President. It will be good if they make it public only, as required presently,” Geingob maintained.  

Also, for those who will be coming back, he warned that there would be zero tolerance for corrupt practices, laziness, not following news and being ignorant of the things, which the people are complaining about.

Geingob reiterated that the government would intensify the fight against poverty and specifically the fight against corruption and gender-based violence emanating from what the psychologists call frustration-aggression. 

He said corruption shall never be tolerated by his administration, the due process of the law will take its course on any wrongdoing.

He cited the Fishrot scandal where former ministers Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala along with others were arrested in November last year for allegedly receiving bribes amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars to grant Icelandic Fishing company Samherji unfettered access to Namibia’s lucrative horse mackerel resources.

Esau and his five co-accused are charged with corruption, fraud and money laundering in the Fishrot scandal.  

“You are all aware of the so-called Fishrot case, and that as we speak, two implicated former ministers have been arrested and are in jail awaiting their trial dates where they have the opportunity to state their case and be declared guilty or not guilty by competent courts. Let us be mindful that in Namibia, every accused person is innocent until proven guilty by the court of law.”

Geingob said he has witnessed a strange new trend, which he has never seen before in his entire life as a political leader in government.

 He said people are sending him applications with curriculum vitae and qualifications attached for ministerial positions. 
“This is totally new. How do you apply to be appointed a minister? Maybe it is part of the new change people are looking for.”


Albertina Nakale
2020-02-05 09:05:54 | 18 days ago

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