Geingob Blasts Opposition Over Lack of Support

Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob criticised opposition parties for not acknowledging the government’s efforts.

He was responding to drought related questions from Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) parliamentarian, Anton Von Wietersheim in the National Assembly last week. “We had a severe drought and government was charged to take action, we did not want anyone to die as a direct result of the drought, and I can now say that nobody died as a result of the drought. I am surprised that the opposition parties are not honourable enough to come out and praise government for a job well done,” said Geingob.

Geingob said there are some parties that were hoping that the drought would cause loss of lives in order to criticise government. “I know there are those who wanted people to die so that they can say government has failed, can you believe that we have those Namibians. But thank God we worked very hard and no lives were lost,” he said. “The drought was severe, but government acted. When are you [oppositon parties] going to do the right thing and praise government,” Geingob challenged the opposition. “When will you stand up and say government has done its job and took care of its people?” asked the premier much to the delight of his fellow ruling party MPs.

To say that government does not care about its people does not make sense, he said. Geingob also blasted opposition parties for being unapologetic, and made reference to public outcries when government decided to build a new state house. Opposition parties and other non-governmental organisations accused former president Dr Sam Nujoma of using state money to build his retirement home. “The opposition problem is that you say things and when you are proven wrong you do not say sorry. A good example is that of state house, you accused the Founding Father of building a palace for himself to stay there forever, but someone else opened it. No one got up to apologise for accusing him wrongly, that is not human because if you are wrong you must apologise.”

Namibia last year experienced its worst drought following poor rainfall, which eventually prompted government to declare a national drought emergency and requested N$330.7 million in international support to avert a crisis. Over 700 000 Namibians were left food insecure by the drought, described as the worst drought to have hit the country in the last 30 years. Government at the time pledged N$200 million in relief for the worst affected households. Some 109 000 children under five were at risk of severe malnutrition.

Initially government was heavily criticised for failing to adequately execute the drought relief programme, something the premier acknowledged last week. “Of course there were some problems in the beginning, but after we settled down things improved. Food distribution improved,” said Geingob. The prime minister said criticism levelled against the government’s decision to provide relish in addition to the maize meal to only some parts of the country was uncalled for, because the availability of resources dictated the amount of relish distributed.

“We gave where we had enough. To ask why people in Gobabis received relish and not those in Epukiro is wrong. It was not intentional either, we were giving what we had without discriminating against anyone,” said Geingob.

Source : New Era