Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian Nico Smit has lambasted government, saying if it were a business, it would have been liquidated long ago.
Smit said this is due to its inefficiency, over inflated workforce and unsustainable wage bill. “Government employs far more people than required, pays salaries way above a sustainable level and is hopelessly bankrupt by any standard,” Smit told lawmakers on Tuesday while delivering his response to the national budget tabled last week by finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi. “Although the government cannot be liquidated, it will make Namibia a failed state,” he added. He said the N$72.8 billion national budget has once again come as a huge disappointment. “Shiimi and the government he serves have missed the golden opportunity to fire the imagination of Namibia’s hard pressed and downtrodden people; to return to the vision for this country and its people on which the liberation struggle was based, namely to rule Namibia so that the lives of its people could be improved,” Smit said.
He said, instead of providing the country with new, revolutionary plans and ideas to realise Namibia’s ideal of the liberation struggle, all that is there to see is more of the same old ideas. “Swapo has missed once again the chance to come up with plans to stimulate our already bankrupt economy and to focus on providing hope to the poor and the homeless and the unemployed, whose numbers increase with every year that passes,” he said. Smit says when he looks at the money allocated to the various ministries, he was gob-smacked by the lack of logic behind the priorities revealed in the budget document. “While we all know that Namibia is among the driest countries in the world, and that our agriculture is on its knees as a result of one of the worst droughts ever experienced, we persist in handing over billions of dollars we don’t have to ministries that bring nothing to the table,” he said. Smit also castigated the ministry of health, saying it has not managed to build a single new state hospital in 30 years. “As we speak, there is no basic medicine in this country and this is certainly not the result of the Covid-19 pandemic as this was the case well before the lockdown started. So I must ask, what the ministry spends its N$7.9 billion on if not on new hospitals and medicine,” he said.
The same question, he said arises regarding the education ministry adding that many schools require toilets and water. “Why has it taken 30 years and a pandemic to bring this basic truth to the attention of this government and its ministry of education? Are we again in the grip of that bloated civil service mentioned in my quotation?” he questioned. He said the higher education ministry received N$3.3 billion and there is no doubt in his mind that some of the money is meant to provide support for tertiary students through the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF). “Judging by the endless complaints from students, this body remains as incompetent as ever. Payments are not received on time, putting unnecessary stress on students who have no other form of income and who would prefer to attend to their studies instead of worrying about whether they will be allowed to write exams because the NSFAF is not doing its job efficiently,” he said.
2020-06-04 09:55:37 | 1 months ago