WINDHOEK, 17 APR – President Hage Geingob has omitted to acknowledge that Namibia is a country in crisis, the leader of the official opposition has said.
“I waited to hear him [Geingob] admit that we are in a crisis, and I willed him to offer a glimmer of hope and ask all of us Namibians to help to resolve the crisis in which we find ourselves,” said McHenry Venaani here Monday evening.
The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president made the statement during his party’s ‘Real State of the Nation Address (SONA)’ in which he dissected and unpacked the ills facing ordinary Namibians and provided alternatives thereto.
The ‘Real SONA’ is a direct response to Geingob’s SONA delivered in the capital last week.
In his SONA, Geingob highlighted strides made through the Harambee Prosperity Plan, reaffirmed his political will to end corruption, presented government’s employment creation plans and clarified some misconceptions around the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework.
Venaani said he was forced to the conclusion that the president chose to tell a tale of two Namibias during his two hours and 30 minutes speech.
“There is a Namibia inhabited by the president, his family, business friends and a small select group,” said Venaani, adding that the second Namibia is one where he (Venaani) and the remaining 2.5 million Namibians live and that is the Namibia rife with unemployment.
“Thousands of our young people wake up each day to the soul-destroying reality of joblessness and they spend their energies looking for non-existent jobs,” lamented Venaani.
The PDM leader questioned whether Geingob had any notion of the scale of unemployment among graduates. Venaani said 45 000 jobs were lost in 2016, while another 15 000 jobs were shed in the construction sector in 2017.
“This is a direct result of the intransigent economic planning that failed to underpin steady and reliable growth,” he said.
Furthermore, Venaani accused Geingob of being a man of rhetorical promises that never materialise into practical remedies, pointing to the bloated Cabinet and continued money squandering at public enterprises as some of the issues the president ought to address.
The Real SONA was attended by around 400 community members and activists from different political formations.