Saturday 19 June 2021
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Opposition reflect on Geingob’s SONA

DTA President McHenry Venaani says government under the leadership of President Hage Geingob is characterised more by rhetoric than action, with little or no tangible results to when it comes to addressing issues that matter most.
Speaking to reporters shortly after Geingob delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA), Venaani said the fight against corruption and poverty is not reflected in the operation of government suggesting that it was simply mere “rhetoric”.
“If you are saying you are fighting poverty, you introduce measures that will fight poverty, your own expenditure in your office must tell us that you are a leader who intends to fight poverty.
“Government  is spending N$9 million on buying furniture in the State House (Office of the President), why is he not taking austerity measures?” asked Venaani.
Venaani further questioned why government does not employ “austerity” measures to cut down expenditure on “elite luxury” rather than on capital projects which are of great importance to development.
“These austerity measures are only cutting programmes that people would need to drive the economy of our country. But we are not cutting the luxurious spending on the elite.
“You have N$900 million being spent the security of VIPs, why are we not cutting on it? So rhetoric is one thing and action is another,” charged Venaani.
When asked what he expected to hear from the President’s SONA, Venaani responded: “I thought the President would tell how many jobs were created in the last 12 months. I thought the President would tell the country how many houses were built and occupied by Namibians.
“The President did not tell us what he is doing boldly about corruption. It’s another thing to say I have cancelled a tender (N$7 billion Hosea Kutako International Airport), but who was the person responsible for escalating the price of the tender? If you are not telling us, then you (Geingob) are hiding it,” Venaani added.
In addition, the DTA Parliamentarian promised to hold Geingob “accountable” for the Walvis Bay oil storage facility whose price allegedly escalated from N$3 billion to over N$5 billion in the space of two year.
“On the oil storage facility (saga) the President said heads will start rolling (the culprits will be brought to the book) so I am waiting for that. I will hold him accountable for that,” added Venaani.
Furthermore, National Unity Democratic Organization President Asser Mbai said he was “delighted” with state address by Geingob as it restored a sense of “hope and believe” in Namibians.
“I am delighted by the State of the Nation Address, it was very comprehensive as it restored confidence and pride in our people.
“We recently came for a situation where we were disappointed by the performance of our economy and the way the President (Geingob) outlined the progress made by the prosperity plan (HPP), I think he really made a very good job,” said Mbai.
Another opposition leader who spoke to The Patriot was Rally for Democracy and Progress Secretary General Mike Kavekotora who was also pleased with Geingob’s SONA.
However, Kavekotora questioned whether the President had that right crop of ministers and deputy ministers on his team to deliver on the targets as they were comprehensively laid out in his SONA.
“My question is whether the President has the right people to implement his vision for Namibia; that is for me the real million dollar question.
“Because the President is talking about the right things, the right frequency and he is also responding to questions, some of which are very sensitive in a mature way,” remarked Kavekotora.
On the downside, Kavekotora charged that the government was not doing well in terms of addressing the pertinent issues which negatively impacts the lives of Namibians.
“The government of the Republic of Namibia is successful in some of the areas that do not really matter to ordinary man on the street. People need food, people need shelter, and they (government) are failing on that.
“People need health, they are failing on that, people need security, nobody is secure in this country. So what are you telling about in terms of success?
Sometimes you (government) not only have to be effective, but you also have to be efficient. You have to do the right things, the right way,” concluded Kavekotora.

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