President calls for unity and hard work

KEETMANSHOOP: President Hage Geingob on Thursday joked that his pledge to eradicate poverty probably was too ambitious considering prevailing climatic conditions that cause drought.

He however said that he will continue to spearhead the efforts against poverty and promised to take non-performers in the civil service to task.

The president was speaking during a packed meeting with inhabitants of the //Karas Region that lasted for much longer than the scheduled hours.

He said Namibia was very good with drafting and adopting policies, but slow with the implementation thereof.

“I want to see policies implemented,” Geingob said.

Representatives from the youth, disabled, business and elderly sectors of society presented the myriad problems that hampered societal and economic progress.

A long queue of individuals at the meeting also brought their personal and group challenges to the president’s attention.

One of the biggest issues that emerged was the presence of shebeens in residential areas.

“This is a huge concern for us parents. Our children are lured by shebeens with loud music, learners cannot study, we cannot sleep, and all terrible things happen there,” an elderly lady said.

Other worries were strict municipal regulations that obstruct enterprise; lack of development in many of the settlements, villages and towns of the region; poor sanitation; the exclusion of the disabled; electricity tariffs and mediocre service from civil servants, particularly nurses and the police.

One resident suggested the granting of fishing quotas to communities to reduce poverty, upon which Geingob responded:

“Quotas can be given, but the problem is that in most cases it is just sold again. People want immediate gratification and don’t want to invest and work over a longer term to reap even bigger benefits from this. It is the same situation with tenders.”

Good news for the people were that vocation training would be implemented in all regions and that schools would expand to additional grades in some of the smaller areas to address school dropouts and migration to bigger towns.

Some people complained about crime on the streets and in their homes.

A patient Geingob said parents too were failing in raising responsible children who could be assets to society instead of criminal elements.

He urged children to assist in taking care of their elderly and advised traditional leaders to maintain their autonomy by not depending on the government, but rather on their “subjects”.

Geingob expressed happiness at the large crowd in attendance from all walks of life, and said in conclusion:

“In the Namibian house, I don’t want to see any more tribes or races; hold hands for one united Namibia.”