Needs of people must be first and last priority

Martin Endjala

The first Bi-Annual Performance Review was officially opened by President Hage Geingob in Windhoek. The today exercise at the Safari Hotel is a follow up on the first Cabinet Retreat held in December 2020.

The president informed the attendees who consisted of Ministers, their deputies, regional governors and executive directors that they were put in these positions to serve the needs of the people and they should ensure that their demands are met. “The needs of the people must be the first and the last priority.”

He reminded the executives that the event is taking place in the Year of Reimaging, “Where we all need to adopt a new approach and mindset on how we do our work and how we add impetus to the business of governance and to the commitment of nation building”.Geingob informed the group that they are the heads of their departments and therefore must see to it that services are rendered to the people.

“People are demanding because they have hope, when you have no hope you sit and suffer peacefully, but when you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you want to reach there quickly.” he said. Geingob cautioned Namibians against saying that Namibia was better off during the apartheid era, saying that the two situations are worlds are apart.

“Don’t make a mistake in comparing Namibia after independence and before independence, be patriotic to your country, and as much as we complain, we must stop at some point and tell the truth. Yes, we have problems, but you cannot compare the now Namibia with that of the apartheid regime,” he pointed out.

The priority for 2022, he said, has to do with meeting those demands within the limits of available resources” he said pointing out that ”although the country’s economy has been impacted, this should not be an excuse to deter us from effecting change. No matter what, we must deliver on public goods, because we have been entrusted with the responsibility of fighting poverty, unemployment, as well as restoring our economic trajectory to yield more inclusive growth and shared prosperity”.

He reminded ministers to act upon the demands of the people on a daily basis, ”because it’s the sovereign right of Namibians to demand for service deliveries and they cannot be delayed.

The energized Geingob, touched on the accessibility of information stating that, “free access to information is very important and it cannot be understated as it is one of the defining characteristics of the 21st century in democratic nations such as Namibia, adding that, it should not only be made available but it should be the correct information and availed in a timeous manner.

“Therefore, ministers should not hide under state secrets but should rather strike a balance, if nothing has been confirmed yet, tell the truth so that the media can report exactly that and not shy away from the media, as reports have been saying over past years. And it’s good to see ministers engaging the public in responding to public questions,” Geingob alluded.

This is the first such strategic review to examine the progress made by Harambee Prosperity Plan 2 that focuses on enabling policy and legislative frameworks and strategic programs that will unlock opportunities to accelerate Namibia’s economic recovery and growth. The agenda of this retreat is primarily designed around the HPP2 pillars and it is to review implementation progress on activities and programs already adopted and not to come up with new initiatives.

“We want a focus debate and a contribution on items presented. And we are not here to lobby for more resource allocations for areas other than those on the agenda,” the Head of State added.

He went on to expand on the Covid-19 epidemic that rampaged the country saying that 2021 was not only challenging but also mentally, physically and spiritually heavy in dealing ”with so many relatives lost, leaders and comrades in a short time over the harrowing experience, that requires resolute faith as well as steel-like resistance”, Geingob lamented.

A minute of silence was observed in honor of all those who succumbed to Covid-19. “I have confidence that our efforts over the past several years aimed at public trust are steering us in the right direction and will continue to do so,” he concluded.l



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