President Hage Geingob!
The man who popularized the words transparency and accountability, so much that his regular audience gets worried when he addresses a crowd without mentioning the words.
His entrance into the country’s highest office was one filled with high expectations, after all this is a man who needs no introduction to politics.
Big talk, rearranging processes in Government just to make the nation believe that the Geingob Presidency is not business as usual but business unusual.
Namibians had hope for a better future, or else why then would 87% of them vote him into power.
The start got us all thinking, oh well, here is a President who shares his plans with the nation, there were press conferences, regional visits and regular updates regarding Government’s activities. Those trends have all subsided as we speak, one wonders whether the honeymoon phase has lapsed or whether he is overwhelmed with the myriad of social challenges plaguing the country ranging from drought, slow economic growth, tribalism, corruption, gender-based violence etc.
Despite all these challenges, one would be forgiven if you do not feel sorry for his uphill battle because this is a man who served in Government since the birth of this country-apart from the time he fled after being demoted-other than that he knows the systems in and out.
Some still feel the challenges Namibia is facing are not his doing, rightfully so, but he is part of those who brought the country to where it is today.
His dream to deliver prosperity to prosperity is highly commendable, but reality must always prevail when plans are crafted. Harambee for instance, one begs to ask how much groundwork was invested during the birth of this ambitious programme?
When politicians talk, the populace is painted as a group of nagging people who do not appreciate what is being done. Rightfully so at times, but in most cases the cries of Namibians are well justified.
Namibians are well aware of the country’s growth potential, at the same time they also know that the country is not growing at desired levels simply because the manner in which the country’s affairs are being managed.
Prudent usage of state finances and equal distribution of resources continues to be the biggest challenge. This has added fuel to the burning fire of “Geingob having an expensive taste”.
Geingob’s hands on approach when it comes to running government is commendable especially when it comes to halting state contracts that points to corruption and so on, but does this mean he does not trust those whom he appointed to do such work?
In the past months the nation saw how their President graciously cleared himself from Cabinet decisions whenever there is public outrage regarding any decision.
Solidarity tax, NEEEF and media regulation are just a few examples where ministers were left with eggs on their faces after the President publicly distanced himself from their (Ministers) pronouncements.
Although such tactics might put the President in good light, those around him will slowly but surely start getting fed up of being told to announce decisions and when it backfires than they have to take full blame.
Leadership is not about clearing yourself in times of trouble or roasting those under you in public, a good leader should be able to defend his subordinates in public at all costs and lash them behind closed doors.
Namibians already have their future to worry about, especially with the current economic climate in the country, there is no room for political doldrums during these critical times.
Good governance continues to be a pipedream in modern Namibia, simply because it only applies to those who are close to the centre.
As the time nears for the President and his delegation to return from their US trip, they should not think the problems they left back home have been solved, the status quo remains.
Transparency and accountability should not be applied selectively but in full. At this point in time the country needs leaders who are willing to sacrifice their privileges and luxuries to help restore the economic stability of the country.