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Opinion - Why Govt struggles to deliver on various mandates

2020-09-10  Staff Reporter

Opinion - Why Govt struggles to deliver on various mandates

The head of state and government declared the current year as the year of introspection. 
It is of essence to zoom in on why government fails and struggle to achieve on various mandates.
Zooming in on the different sectors, public office-bearers, institutions and other areas under which government failed to be prosperous is needed in order to provide new ways of dealing with obstacles at the same time coming up with new ways of ensuring the successful execution of mandates and activities. 
Some people will tell you that the best place to work for is in government whereby you can have a workload, be incompetent but you will still get your 13th cheque. 

Bureaucracy within the structures of government does not permit an immediate superior the right to dismiss an employee from work immediately; he or she has to get authorisation from the head of the ministry and that response does take a long time, that in itself delaying the execution of mandates. 
Slow decision-making is one of the diseases incorporated with the unnecessary delays of the bureaucratic system. 

The modern world demands rapid decision making something that the bureaucratic system will always fail to comply with, quite disheartening. 
Government is the biggest employer with about 80% of the national budget being utilised to cater for the huge wage bill within the public sector. 
For as long as the private sector does not assist government with helping to reduce the huge wage bill through the creation of employment, most government mandates and activities will remain on paper because there is a lack of funds to service the execution of those mandates and activities. 
The reason government has not been able to successfully carry out all the National Development Plans (NDPs) is because of the limited financial resources that had to be spent based on priorities. 

Like any other democratically elected government ours also does strive towards producing for the people what is needed is for the private sector to equally come to the table, and employ more people which will then result in more revenue for government through various payable taxes.
We have people that are awarded government tenders; they then inflate the tenders and leave the job incomplete while using the tender money for personal use. 

How can we expect government to deliver on its mandates and activities when we have people ripping off government? Some may come out and question why the article is not being specific by calling out and naming some of the people that ripped off government in the past or presently but there is a reason we have daily newspapers and other media platforms to report on that. 
The aim of an article such as this is to educate on the various ways on how we can better help advice government on what is the problem and what can be done to resolve the problem. 

Unfortunately, we are unable to help government if we are not united and working as one. 
Therefore, instead of government blacklisting people and/or companies from being awarded future government tenders there is a need for government to take legal action by taking people and companies to court for ripping it off because what suffers drastically in the final analysis is the execution of government mandates and activities.

Namibia is one of the high unequal countries in the world.
 Additionally, the country is one of the high taxing countries in the world. 
Individuals that evade tax could drive the rationale behind the continuous increase of taxes. 
Government will have to increase various taxes in order to make up for earnings they fail to collect from those that are legally expected and required to pay tax but fail to do so. 

Without the collection of tax government will be unable to tackle various mandates, therefore the only way that government will be able to lower different taxes and come up with tax exemptions is only if the required taxpayers stop evading the paying of tax. 
Any government is non-functional without tax earnings and it is only through the projected and earmarked tax generations governments are able carry out their mandated duties and obligations. 
There is a need to acknowledge that some State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) fail and struggle to deliver on different mandates and projected earnings because of maladministration. 

Our government does not need pity or indulgence from other countries and organizations of the world for it to carry out mandates, what we need are united public servants working together irrespective of their political affiliation. 
Public Office-Bearers such as the late Dr Abraham Iyambo, the then mayor of Ongwediva Erastus Uutoni (Minister of Urban and Rural Development), Minister of Works and Transport John Mutorwa, and the current governor of the Kunene region Marcus Sheya do deserve praises for what they did and/or continue to do in terms of the successful execution of mandates. 

I further credit and praise the work ethic of the governor of Otjozondjupa region James Uerikua.
 I recommend government to create and come up with an institution that will preside over the mandates and activities of government. 
The very same way we have established the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) as the watchdog of corrupt activities within the public sector, it is for the same reason we need an independent institution that will help ensure that government mandates and activities are effectively carried out. 
Honestly, having such an independent institution established will not only result in making sure that government duties are carried out but it also has the ability to help reduce corruption within the structures of government. 

Consequently, an independent institution is needed because the Performance Management System (PMS) that is in place for top officials and ministries is ineffective and for that there is an urgent need to come up with a new positive initiative that will ensure that the PMS is adhered to and that other governmental activities are carried out efficiently and effectively.

* Petrus Ndeumono Mbidi has a diploma in Local Government Studies, an honours degree in Public Management, and he is a final year masters of Public Administration student at the University of Namibia.

2020-09-10  Staff Reporter

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