Geingob’s 100 days in office

26 June 2015
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Hage Geingob’s presidency reached its 100-day milestone on Sunday.  While this might mean nothing to a lot of people, it is believed that a president’s first 100 days in office gives a glimpse of what we can expect from his/her administration.

It is said that the first three months in office is a good indicator of how a presidency will turn out, although some people say this is not always the case.

It is also believed that a new president sets his agenda for the next five years during the first 100 days in office.

The fascination with a president’s first 100 days in office gained currency in 1933 during the first term of office of the 32nd President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Rooselvelt’s first 100 days in office is widely used as a model of presidential accomplishment as he managed to push for the enactment of 15 pieces of legislation through congress.

During this time, America was facing total collapse under the weight of the Great Depression.

While Namibia is far from facing total collapse, there are a number of urgent issues that need total commitment from State House.

As we have previously said, the president has set the bar high in terms of his policy pronunciation and the way he has carried himself since 21 March when he assumed office. 

First, the president increased the old age pension grants from N$600 to N$1000, a move that earned him a few brownie points across the country.

Geingob, whose mantra of no Namibian should be left out of the Namibian house, also created a new ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, showing his commitment to fighting poverty.

The president banned his ministers from travelling overseas without first familiarising themselves with their ministries. Overseas trips by ministers had gobbled millions of dollars in travelling and accommodation expenses and S&Ts with nothing to show for the money spent.

Year in and year out, State Owned Enterprises beg for bailouts from Government mostly because of the incompetency of the people in charge. But it will no longer be business as usual with the creation of the new Ministry of Public Enterprises which seeks to bring efficiency in the public sector while putting an end to wastefulness.

Lastly, President Geingob declared his assets to the public, although he is not required by law to do so.

All these things are encouraging and speak of a man who wants to be transparent.

However, there seems to be a lack of urgency in appointing Permanent Secretaries.

Some, especially the new ministries do not have Permanent Secretaries who are supposed to be the Chief Executive Officers of these ministries. Permanent Secretaries who have been accused of irregularities are still sitting pretty in their positions.

Three months since his appointment, the Minister of Poverty Alleviation is not really sure about his mandate.

The Anti-Corruption Commission continues to act as a toothless bulldog as it lacks the capacity to investigate white collar crimes. There has been no pronouncement on how the ACC will be capacitated to have more bite.

Worse, the president has not really pronounced himself on the most topical issue of his young presidency, the land crisis which is threatening to throw his reign into chaos if Job Amupanda is to be believed.

Overall, the president is doing well, but he needs to act decisively especially on the land issue and corruption.

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WINDHOEK OBSERVER

The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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