Namibians say country is heading in the wrong direction …while Geingob continues to enjoy favourable public opinion

22 May 2018 14:40pm

A latest Afrobarometer survey has disclosed that more than half of Namibians believe that the country is headed inn the wrong direction and that government has done a poor job in handling its key-functions.

Interestingly, despite this, President Hage Geingob continues to to gain the highest popular approval ratings (77%) among public officials.

The survey notes that 56% of respondents are convinced government has taken the wrong direction which is more than twice the 24% who felt this way in 2012 and 2014 surveys.

“A majority of Namibians say that the government is performing “fairly badly” or “very badly” on creating jobs (74%), narrowing income gals (73%), managing the economy (63%), keeping prices stable (59%), and improving living standards of the poor (59%),” the survey reports.

However, the report discloses that almost two-thirds (64%) of Namibians have trust in the president, which is a high trust level than that enjoyed by 15 public institutions.

 Although the trust level is still high, but the survey observes that it has decreased from 80% recorded in 2014.

The sharp contrast between how the public perceive government and the highest office has drawn debate among experts and commentators with some questioning the educational background of the sample.

Questions have also arisen as to how informed about developments and events in the high offices the people who participated inn the survey were and whether they hail from rural or urban areas,

Professor Andre Du Pisani reasoned that such a sample could have be sourcing for information from government which is almost always positive.

“I don’t think we know enough where people source for information,” he said.

 In demystifying the high favourable ratings of the president, the professor said, “The president is using a strong language to hijack the political narrative.”

Meanwhile, 50% as opposed to 49% of Namibians in the survey said government was doing either fairly baldy or very badly in ensuring people have enough to eat.

Government has scored unfavourable ratings with regards to its efforts in reducing crime, providing reliable electricity supply, addressing the needs of the youth, providing water and sanitation, improving basic health services, addressing educational needs as well as protecting the disabled.