Windhoek-Outspoken leader of the opposition McHenry Venaani on Monday labelled President Hage Geingob Hage Geingob as a leader of many ‘unfulfilled promises and ambitious plans’ that have very little hope of being achieved. Venaani, during his own session of what he termed the ‘Real State of the Nation (SONA)’ says although Geingob again promised last year to improve the incompetent performances of most of his ministers, no concrete action has been taken during the past twelve months to actually get non-performing ministers to put their money where their mouths are.
“Talk is cheap and all the wonderful performance pledges we heard in 2017 and again at the start of this year have come to nothing,” said the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president.
“No heads have rolled, no one has been forced to declare their assets if they didn’t want to, and despite the President and the First Lady setting the example, the state-owned enterprises continue to squander the taxpayers’ hard-earned money with no consequences – the list is endless,” said he added.
He said when Geingob held his SONA last Wednesday, he [Venaani] listened attentively in the hope that the head of state would capture the mood and the difficulties that face people daily.
“I waited to hear him admit that we are in a crisis and I willed him on to offer a glimmer of hope and ask all of us Namibians to help resolve the crisis in which we find ourselves,” he said, adding that he also expected the President to admit that Namibia was, indeed, a nation in crisis.
“I was forced to the conclusion that the President chose to tell us a tale of two Namibias during his 2:30 hour speech. There is the Namibia inhabited by the President, his family, business friends and a small select group. Then there is the real Namibia inhabited by the remaining 2.5 million of us,” he said.
“Thousands of Namibians remain unemployed despite his much vaunted war on poverty, even more thousands remain without decent housing despite promises of serviced erven and government housing schemes, economic growth continues to elude us while desperate attempts to stem the downward slide have stubbornly failed to improve business prospects in key sectors such as construction and manufacturing,” Venaani said.
He said a few months after taking office in 2015, Geingob tried to justify his bloated newly appointed cabinet by expressing the hope that “the effectiveness of government will improve.”
“It is clear to everybody in April 2018 that this hope has not become reality,” he said.
Venaani acknowledged that Geingob made a few stabs at fighting poverty by increasing the old-age grant and introducing food banks, but this is too little in the bigger picture of widespread poverty in the country.