LPM slams Geingob’s town hall meetings

04 Jul 2019 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 04 JUL (NAMPA) – The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) has blasted President Hage Geingob’s plan to visit Namibia’s 14 regions between 11 July and 13 August 2019 to review the progress on drought relief, saying it is unnecessary and wasteful.
LPM deputy leader, Henny Seibeb at a media conference in the capital on Thursday charged that the visits “epitomise a Head of State that is using State resources to achieve political ambitions”.
Geingob through the visits wants to identify bottlenecks in order to scale up interventions in the said programme, according to an official statement issued by State House on Wednesday.
LPM sees it as a political campaign instead.
“It’s a Swapo election drive. The president has moved away from using party machinery because there is too much infighting going on there. If he was doing these meetings as a Swapo president there would be no problem, but the problem is campaigning under the guise of town hall meetings, using State resources,” according to Seibeb.
Geingob has enough subordinates he can direct to do the said assessment and report to him, rather than travelling throughout the country, which is a costly exercise on the already stretched State fiscus, charged the LPM.
Seibeb added that the LPM wants Geingob to report back to the nation the resolutions that emanated from his 2015 town hall meetings.
He also asked how much money was reserved for the president’s assessment mission.
“How much was budgeted for the first round (of town hall meetings) in terms of the support staff, security personnel, petrol, accommodation, food…all these things must be costed,” said Seibeb.
He added: “Namibia does not have money. Geingob gave a directive to ministers not to travel at all, both foreign and locally…it would have been easier to have the governors come to Windhoek [to report to the president], even with a live broadcast.”
The Presidency has come in defence of Geingob’s upcoming meetings, arguing that he is a proactive leader with a pragmatic approach to problem-solving who believes in being on the ground to get first-hand experience of what is working and what is not.
It also rubbished suggestions that Geingob’s town hall meetings were a campaign ploy.