MPs hail Geingob's first State of the Nation Address

21 Apr 2015 22:00pm
WINDHOEK, 21 APR (NAMPA) – Member of Parliament (MP) Sacky Shanghala says President Hage Geingob's first State of the Nation Address was very comprehensive and there was very little for the opposition parties to query.
Shanghala, who was also appointed as Attorney-General (AG) by Geingob last month, made the comments on the sidelines of the event in an interview with Nampa on Tuesday.
“I think that the State of the Nation Address has explained in detail the president’s vision on economic transformation, inclusivity and service delivery in the larger context of economic growth,” he said, adding that Geingob's address set the tone of the trajectory in which he wants to lead the nation.
DTA of Namibia member Olsen Kahiriri, who also attended the event, said “Geingob means business”.
“For the first time ever since the country's independence, we saw a statesman speaking with his body language, showing that he means business,” said Kahiriri who recently abandoned the Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) to join the DTA.
He, however, cautioned that Geingob be careful with the speed at which he tries to make changes, saying he inherited the current state of affairs in the country from his predecessor Hifikepunye Pohamba, who might have done things very differently.
During his address, the new president announced that he would during the second week of May publicly declare his personal assets.
“A key requirement in preventing undue benefits accruing to public officials is preventing conflict of interest and the disclosure of assets. The law does not require the president to disclose his personal assets. However, managing conflict of interest is a matter which requires political will,” said the Head of State.
Geingob further announced that he is committed to the introduction of a Food Bank and that the willingness of several farmers to get involved in this initiative on a voluntary basis is indicative of how Namibians recognise that the country will only eradicate poverty if people work together.
The Namibian leader also said that due the structural nature of wealth accumulation, the average Namibian was dispossessed and does not possess much wealth in terms of homes or shareholding.
The only way out of this conundrum is to introduce a targeted approach to unpack and reverse the existing structural imbalances, he noted.
“In this regard, I want to appeal to the business community to introduce new co-ownership practices in which workers are able to own shares in the companies they dedicate their labour to,” the president urged.
Kahiriri maintains that if Geingob's administration does not fail him, poverty eradication could be achieved within 10 years.
“We remain hopeful but I am also excited. Sometimes giving the country to a technocrat works. However, this is politics and sometimes if you do not play your cards right, people could also fail you purposely,” the new DTA member said.
On his part, Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) MP Mike Kavekotora said compared to previous State of the Nation addresses by former presidents, Geingob's address is “one of a kind”.
“Geingob touched upon bread and butter issues; issues that we as opposition parties have been complaining about,” Kavekotora noted.
The opposition, he said, complained about how resources in the country are being allocated and that the government’s priorities were wrong.
According to him, Geingob touched on those issues that really affect the average person.
“If that is a genuine statement from the president, then I would say Namibia is in good hands,” he noted.
Kavekotora also welcomed Geingob's decision to declare his assets, saying that this could be used as a weapon to fight corruption.
“You must remember, the things that the top is doing is always cascaded right down to the bottom. If the top is corrupt then obviously the rest of the body will be corrupt,” he said.