President Hage Geingob has pledged to set aside 20 percent of his salary to be used for the education of impoverished children.
“Yes, I understand the issue of creeping inflation and how it increases the cost of living. However, there are those who are just struggling to survive. Let all of us who are employed think about how we can reduce spending and sacrifice our salaries, rather than fighting for increments when you are employed and at least have an income,” Geingob said.
Geingob made the pledge on Saturday during the Swapo Party’s official launch of its 2015 regional council and local authority election campaign. The elections are scheduled for November 27. He said the modalities around the distribution of the 20 percent would be discussed later.
Addressing a large crowd of supporters here on Saturday, the president said it is not too much to ask those who are fortunate enough to have employment to think about their brothers and sisters, who have nothing. Geingob also called on those who are employed to think about how they can reduce their spending and sacrifice their salaries, rather than fighting for increments.
He said the Swapo Party government has singled out poverty as the number one enemy in Namibia and as a threat to democracy and development objectives. For this reason, he said government declared all-out war on poverty, where one must be prepared to make sacrifices and incur losses for the greater good of all.
“It is, therefore, disturbing to hear that while we are fortifying ourselves against a looming drought, energy crisis, tackling high unemployment and readying ourselves to launch an offensive on poverty, there are a number of public servants who are planning to go on strike,” he reacted.
Official records show that there are 100 000 people employed as civil servants, while there are 278 245 people unemployed. Against this background, Geingob said it is not too much to ask those that are fortunate enough to have employment to think about the poor.
“The task ahead of us is no mean feat. We face an enemy that has no jet fighter planes, tanks, artillery, soldiers or bases that we can set our targets on. Poverty is a faceless enemy that comes in many forms. We, therefore, need to be more united than ever before and hold hands to form an unbreakable chain, a chain that will form the boundary in which we will build and fortify our Namibian house,” said Geingob.
Speaking at the same occasion, Swapo’s secretary of information and mobilisation Helmut Angula emphasised that income earners should work for an honest and decent society, where the rich are not at peace. “Income earners should thus allow non-income earners to be upgraded to income-earning level so that they do not languish in poverty,” he argued.