We are sitting on a time-bomb: Geingob

Swapo's Presidential candidate, Hage Geingob has cautioned previously advantaged Namibians to share their opulent wealth or risk losing everything as younger Namibians are running out of patience.

Geingob made these remarks during a public meeting he held with business persons who are predominantly white Namibians in the capital on Thursday evening.

We are sitting on a time-bomb, Geingob told the audience.

Geingob, Namibia's President � who is on a campaign trail in his quest to secure a second presidential term � also challenged the audience to present him with alternatives to the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) Bill as the country seeks to address past injustices, particularly structural inequality.

What can we do to address structural inequality, the politicians asked.

From the audience was Colette Rieckert, the Managing Director of Windhoek Gymnasium Private School, who said the remedy to structural inequality was good basic education as opposed to focusing on vocational education.

I know it will take a few years, but it is the only solution, she argued.

On the opposing end was Geingob, he said: What qualification does Bill Gates have? I have a Ph.D. What does he have? But he is one of the richest people. [So] education is not the only answer.

The President went on to say the importance of vocational training should not be underestimated as it allows people to do things with their own hands.

Geingob went as far as saying it should be seen as a failure, if, white-owned businesses do not have black employees in their top echelons, 29 years after the country's political independence.

He said white Namibians can no longer be sitting on the fence thinking its [inequality] is a black problem.

I want everybody to feel that they have the right to live in this country but we must [all] contribute, he said.

Other concerns raised by the private sector were issues related to stringent requirements to secure funding to start-up businesses, mismanagement of conservancies and feeling left out of the Namibian house.

I applaud you for coming to see us. You have not seen as at your political rallies so you have now bridged that gap. We want ethical living standards. You must lift these living standards, one of the attendants told Geingob.

Geingob responded by saying the government has always had good intentions for the country.

One such example is the collapse of the SME Bank.

[Unfortunately] we have crooks [in the system]. [You] have a good plan that is poorly executed. SME Bank was one of them, he said.

Geingob was accompanied by Cabinet ministers, his string of special advisors and First Lady Monica Geingob.

Source: Namibia Press Agency