Hats off Mr. President
Recent pronouncements by the President Dr Hage Geingob that ministers will no longer be given the luxury of globetrotting the for foreign trips gulping Subsistence and Travel allowances are commendable.
Such a stance communicates the relevant message to the electorate. We do not need to spend a lot of tax payers’ money on buying
tickets but rather on developing their lives. His decision is that of a man who is concerned about service delivery and wants to see his foot soldiers work to develop his plans and also government’s plans in the way.
It is worrisome to note that the culture of ministers moving from one capital to the other in the world is becoming a norm while the bulk
of them do not know what is going on in the regions of the country where the bulk of the votes that got them into power came from.
Is it not imperative that those ministers that have a high appetite for traveling start by driving from the Erongo to Hardap, from
Oshikoto to Otjizondjupa and try to understand the day to day challenges that the average Namibian faces.
According to media reports the President has already cancelled some of the trip requisitions by the newly appointed ministers. What a way for the President to ascertain his authority and also show the nation that the Governments taking a paradigm shift one that is driven by delivery, hard work and commitment to local duty.
Surely there is no reason for every minister to just decide in their sleep that they want to travel the word and make their pocket fat in a short period of time when the country has a minister of internationals affairs under normal circumstances is the face of Namibia in the international world.
Perhaps just to learn a few things from the American way of doing things. The state Secretary is the one who travels and sells that country’s foreign policy to the world.
Perhaps if the President keeps his grip tight we will not hear of stories where Government spends over a billion on S&T in one year.
The money can surely be channelled to other pressing issues that need urgent attention. It is also important that ministers as senior civil servants know that their priority is to serve the Namibian people and be acclimatised to the domestic situation instead of borrowing foreign solutions to domestic problems.
A minister of Health for instance cannot be moving from one international seminar in the word to the other but does not know that somewhere in Namibia patients are sleeping on the floor because there is a shortage of beds in hospitals. It also the same with the minister of Education and Sports who need to know the challenges that affect Namibian youths before they believe they can go and import other ideas from abroad.
Charity begins at home and the earlier our ministers know this the better. There is no solution that can work on Namibian problems than a Namibian solution and once in a while we will then need outside help.