Use Presidential Council budget to address national issues: WRP

08 Feb 2015 08:50am
WINDHOEK, 07 FEB (NAMPA) – The Workers’ Revolutionary Party (WRP) has questioned where the funds for the yet-to-be established Presidential Advisory Council will come from.
The party's spokesperson Hewat Beukes told Nampa last week that his party is not concerned about who and how many former leaders the council will consist of, but how much money tax payers will have to fork out to foot the bill for these members.
“Geingob can have as many advisors as he would like to have, but who will pay for them and where will the money come from,” Beukes wanted to know.
He stressed that the budget for the council should rather be used to address national issues as a matter of urgency such as housing, health, unemployment and higher allowances for pensioners.
President-elect Hage Geingob announced last week that he will appoint this council after his inauguration as president on 21 March 2015.
The council will be made up of the Head of State at the time (Geingob) and the two former presidents, but will co-opt former prime ministers, deputy prime ministers and other key personalities who have formed the backbone of Namibian politics since independence, if need be.
Geingob, who is currently Prime Minister, explained that the council will be important for camaraderie, consultation and continuity of government policy.
He noted that Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma brought about peace and the incumbent President Hifikepunye Pohamba brought stability, while he (Geingob) is expected to bring about prosperity.
Geingob said he would use the council to tap into the wisdom and experience of the former presidents whilst at the same time showing respect and solidarity.
“The legacy must continue. But how will it continue if the former presidents would just go and sit at their homes with the vast experience they have. That council would therefore allow us to meet once or twice a year,” he said.
Contacted for comment on the funding of this council, Presidential Affairs Minister Albert Kawana said this budget resorts under the Office of the President.