SONA: analysts anticipate policy continuity

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

President Nangolo Mbumba is expected to deliver the State of the Nation Address (SONA) today, with analysts anticipating a continuity of policies amidst the sad passing of President Hage Geingob last month.

Political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah, highlighting the incumbent president’s role as a caretaker, said that Mbumba is likely to adhere to the legacy of late President Geingob rather than introducing new initiatives.

“President Mbumba is sort of a caretaker president that’s finished a term. From that perspective, I don’t think that we will hear new initiatives in terms of policy directions. Instead, I think he will stick to what the late has left behind,” he said.

In addition, Kamwanyah emphasizes the urgency of addressing unemployment to prevent a potential crisis, highlighting the necessity for attracting investors and creating jobs.

“It is a clear indication that the nation should not expect new policy directions under Mbumba. We must just get acquainted with what we know. Like getting investors here. We are having a sincere problem with job creation if we don’t address the unemployment in this country, we need to expect a crisis. Otherwise, our country will become a ‘kapena iilonga country’ (a country with no jobs),” said Kamwanyah.

Political analyst Rui Tyitende underscored the importance of addressing pressing societal issues such as unemployment, inequality, housing, and poverty.

“When we speak of SONA, we need to speak of the real people on the ground, unemployment, inequality, housing, poverty. We know of hundreds of children being taught under trees because of the lack of schools. We know of hundreds of people being treated under trees because of a lack of health facilities. Children are drowning in wells because of no water,” said Tyitende.

While acknowledging government achievements like infrastructure development, Tyitende warned against mere self-glorification, stressing that the overall conditions for Namibians have not significantly improved.

“Yes, the government has done a lot, for instance, the roads, but we should not just praise the government on what it has done because the overall conditions have not improved. The SONA is an account of how the country is doing. In the past, the event has been reduced into an event of ‘self-glorification’,” Tyitende said.

The SONA provides a platform for the president to outline priorities, economic status, achievements, and strategies for implementation.

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