Geingob shrugs off criticism

20 March 2015 Author  

front bossHage 20 narchPresident-elect Hage Geingob has responded to criticism made by DTA president McHenry Venaani last week about a lack of balanced ethnic representation in his top appointments. In an interview last week, Venaani criticised Geingob’s appointments for vice president, prime minister and deputy prime minister saying that Swapo’s tribal politics had informed the appointments and not governance.

“The constitutional amendments pushed through last year made provision for the creation of positions such as the vice presidency and all we heard about was inclusivity.

“However, the reality is that 75 percent of the top four are from one ethnic group,” Venaani remarked in the interview.

In response to questions posed, president-elect Geingob this week responded to the criticism as follows:

If you may recall, when I and Hon. Albert Kawana presented our arguments to illustrate the need to bifurcate the presidency by creating a vice president position we gave several reasons.

We said that giving the prime minister constitutional administrative powers was primarily aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the executive in ensuring the provision of goods and services to the people.

While on that subject, we also stated that the enlarged executive would also provide for the accommodation of different tribes and therefore reflect the ethnic diversity of Namibia.

However, as we explicitly stated, this would not apply strictly to the positions of president, vice president, prime minister and deputy prime minister.

There are other important and symbolic positions such as the Speaker of the National Assembly, Chief Justice, and Chairman of the National Council amongst others in which other ethnic groups can also be represented.

If you feel there is one ethnic group that is missing, please inform me as to which one that is. As for the large Oshiwambo representation, that is simply to do with the dynamics of our population.

As I have said on countless occasions, even if you go to the prisons, graves, schools and churches in Namibia, you will find Oshiwambo-speaking people in the majority

Furthermore, I don’t know how my appointment negates the principle of inclusivity. I as a non-Oshiwambo have been elected as president by 87 percent of the registered voters.

And going back to my earlier comment, one can correctly assume that the majority of these were Oshiwambo-speaking people. So who is thinking along ethnic lines?

Let us not beat around the bush. When people are successful, they say “I”. The moment they are in trouble or undergo some sort of strife, they suddenly become French and say “we”. We Damaras, we Hereros etc. Come on let’s move on.

WINDHOEK OBSERVER

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