Talking Points for His Excellency the President, Dr. Hage G. Geingob
Year End Press Conference , 13 December 2017, State House Windhoek
1. ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
Government is committed to promote effective governance and to execute its mandate, on the principles of accountability and transparency.
We have adopted the philosophy that “Transparency plus Accountability will result in improved levels of Trust.”
We are well aware of the diminishing levels of trust, the world over and within Namibia. This is why we continue to place repeated emphasis on this essential building block for Effective Governance and Nation Building.
The aim is to strengthen the levels of trust between the People who are the ultimate Sovereigns and their elected leaders in Government; and also the levels of trust between Public officials and their Political leadership and between Political leaders and their appointing authority.
The drive to enhance trust levels is therefore a critical success factor for Government’s development plans, such as the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) and 5th National Development Plan (NDP5).
To this end, we have endeavoured to keep enhance access to information through open channels of communication. This is attested to by the numerous media engagements at the State House and other national and international fora.
To date, 201 media engagements have been held. This includes two Media Briefings this year conducted by myself, including today’s event.
2. THE NARRATIVE
As a leader, I am a dreamer and as such, my objective is to cast and cement the vision for our country; that of a “united, inclusive and prosperous Namibian House”.
A famous general once said “a leader is a dealer in hope.” That is what I have set about doing since my first day in office. By creating a new narrative for our country, we have all become rejuvenated to realize our dream.
By proclaiming “no Namibian must feel left out” and by exuding the spirit of “One Namibia, One Nation” we are emphasizing the shared responsibility towards Nation Building.
The narrative of the Namibian House has been entrenched; the conversation has started and permeated the national discourse. The public has internalized and rallies behind the vision to ‘hold hands and pull in the same direction’.
It is now up to all stakeholders to ensure our vision is implemented.
This vision of a prosperous Namibian House is firmly rooted in the 2014 SWAPO Party Manifesto and has since been translated into the HPP and NDP5, both of which are roadmaps to deliver on our mandate.
You will recall that I declared 2017 The Year of Rededication to the implementation of our Plans. We have committed Government to account annually on the status of implementation of those Plans.
Part of the objective for today’s briefing therefore, is to provide progress report on year to date implementation.
To this end, Dr. John Steytler will unpack a detailed review of the progress made.
Having declared war on poverty and all forms of corruption, this year we implemented our policy towards zero corruption.
All forms of corruption are destructive and must be rooted out, as they divert public resources intended for developmental programmes and threaten our Governance Architecture.
An effective fight against corruption is critical to effective governance and the full execution of our mandate. We remain committed to fight corruption wherever it occurs.
Sometimes skeptics question our commitment to this fight and by so doing belittle our efforts. To illustrate our stance of zero-tolerance towards corruption, the following actions have been taken:
Cancellation of the N$7 billion Hosea Kutako International Airport upgrading tender, despite the urgent need to upgrade the airport;
The lodging of investigation into the National Oil Storage Facility and action taken against implicated officials;
Ongoing investigations into tax evasion and money laundering;
Liquidation of the SME Bank and the fact that Government did not intervene to stop actions by the Bank of Namibia;
Investigation into alleged mismanagement and dubious awarding of tenders, such as at the Ministry of Health and Social Services, KORA Awards, Namibia Airports Company and suspension of those under investigation.
Going forward, provisions of the new Public Procurement Act, Whistle Blowers Act and the Witness Protection Act, will be fully enforced as part of our fight against corruption.
2015 was the year we embarked upon this journey, which began with extensive consultation and planning. 2016 was The Year of Implementation, which unfortunately was undermined by the adverse economic headwinds that persisted into this year. In 2017 we Rededicated ourselves to the implementation of planned programmes. Notwithstanding, we continue to prioritize critical programmes to make inroads where it matters most.
We acknowledge the prevailing economic conditions experienced during 2017 will persist into the New Year. We are therefore required to place even greater emphasis in our governance approach, specifically on accountability, for public service delivery.
I remain confident that the Prime Minister will oversee the efficient and effective implementation of Government programmes.
I have declared 2018 The Year of Reckoning.
Let us embrace the values of hard work, sacrifice, unity, accountability and transparency, to cultivate the trust we require in our nation building endeavours. /END
Photo credit: AfricaMetro