OPENING the first cabinet meeting of the year today, President Hage Geingob reaffirmed his plans to downsize cabinet and announced that the year 2020 will be one of “Introspection.”
Geingob said this year will force the country’s leadership to especially introspect on what they have achieved and how they can solve identified shortcomings.
Addressing his ministers, as well as members of the media at statehouse this morning, Geingob reaffirmed that the size of his cabinet will be reduced, while the Swapo party will maintain the 50/50 representation.
Geingob explained that the reason the cabinet is bloated emanated from the apartheid system, which left many blacks out of leadership positions and resulted in black people being added to an already existing system.
“The size of the cabinet will be reduced. I will see how I will combine some ministries. I also get unsolicited proposals from outside. Some apply for ministerial posts and say they can do better. They even forget that I have to choose from the parliament,” Geingob said.
The president further stated that those fortunate to sit in the next cabinet should know that the level of performance and compliance, as well as expectations, are higher.
“They say I only fire people that disagree, but we expect ministers to perform and to defend their policies. I am not the same Hage, I am different. I’ve heard the call of my people, that’s what I want to hear from you, ministers as well,” Geingob said.
He further stated that the current 50/50 parliamentary representation in parliament is based on the discretion of Swapo and does not apply to government laws.
Touching on the Fish rot case, Geingob stated that corruption shall no longer be tolerated but that all accused persons are innocent until proven guilty.
He added that ministers should declare their assets publically to improve the image of government, especially ministers, which has been tainted by the fish rot saga.
The president also touched on the call made late last year by some lawyers that the public should submit photo evidence of luxury vehicles and houses for investigations if it is suspected that the owners bought such assets with money that is ill-gotten.
“Black people suffer from self-hate. They believe that white people’s riches are a right, but do not believe that black people are rich because they work hard. All blacks are corrupt by definition so if they have a nice house or a car, it means they are corrupt. This is self-hate. Inequality, white privilege and black inferiority complex are all things which need our introspection,” Geingob said.
The president further warned that those who use conditions of people who are suffering to instigate them are going to start a civil war in the country. Geingob stated that he has observed that currently Namibians are using their freedom of speech to insult, but that they have not taken up arms yet. He, however, stated that these actions are the beginning stages of unrest.
“As Government, we have listened to the cries and calls of the sovereigns. We have heard you. You pointed out areas of improvement to us. On unemployment, we heard you. On the economic situation, we heard you. On the lack of decent shelter, we heard you. On the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), where scores of students are left in dire straits due to poor implementation and execution of duties, we heard you. In the fishing sector, where fishermen lost their jobs as a consequence of mismanagement, we have heard and have immediately started remedial action,” Geingob said.
He further stated that government will intensify the fight against poverty, as well as corruption and Gender-based Violence (GBV).
Touching on the court challenge, Geingob stated that democratic outcomes should be accepted, and that rulings of the court should be accepted on the 2019 Election challenge.