Geingob irked by ‘publicly boozing’ ministers

05 Feb 2019 19:40pm
WINDHOEK, 05 FEB (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob has taken a swipe at some of his Cabinet ministers for drinking alcohol in public places, which he said puts Government’s image in bad light.
Geingob made these comments at the opening of the first decision-making Cabinet meeting at State House on Tuesday.
Though not revealing their names, Geingob expressed discontent in some ministers’ public conduct.
He stressed that ministers ought to be cognisant that their actions and behaviour have a bearing on the perception about the government, both locally and internationally.
“If a minister is drunk in public, which some of you are doing, drunk in public or appearing drunk in public and you think people are going to respect you?” Geingob slammed.
Some ministers also use “foul language in public” and in some cases, ministers sleep in bars or are seen at clubs.
“(Ministers) go to the wrong places, parking the government car (there with a) GRN (number plate) …at a night club. I doubt that you are doing it. Are you doing it?” he asked, to which some ministers said “no” in unison.
Others were simply quiet, seemingly shocked by Geingob’s outpouring while others shrugged it off with a smile.
Geingob then took on ministers who abuse government vehicles.
He said some ministers use the vehicles to travel to other countries and load cement bags and wood in them. He was seemingly referring to Chairperson of the National Council, Margaret Mensah-Williams who in 2017 used the car assigned to her on a private trip to South Africa.
As for the cement, in 2018, Deputy Health Minister Juliet Kavetuna was widely criticised for using her official vehicle to transport three bags of cement.
Sport Minister Erastus Uutoni also came under fire last year, when his daughter posted pictures of herself on top of her father’s State-issued ministerial car on her Instagram account.
From the word-go, Geingob was disappointed by ministers who failed to show up for the first Cabinet meeting.
Among the absentees were Land Reform Minister, Utoni Nujoma and Safety and Security’s Charles Namoloh.
Nujoma through his deputy Priscilla Boois indicated that he could not be present as he went for his “usual medical check-up”.
This did not sit well with Geingob.
“(So) he couldn’t schedule it (check-up) for another day? Doesn’t he know that this is the first day of the Cabinet? Go and tell him that I said he should have scheduled it for another day,” Geingob told Boois to deliver the message to her superior.
Namoloh is still on leave, his deputy said.
(NAMPA)
MEM/PS/EK