‘Independence Day is sacred’ – Geingob
Namibia’s Independence Day is sacred and should be above personal feelings and politics of the day, President Hage Geingob said at the 32nd Anniversary of Independence hosted in Swakopmund.
Geingob said it is “incomprehensible and deplorable” for some citizens to claim that for the past 32 years, nothing has been achieved and no reason to celebrate independence. Geingob opposed the assertion that the days of apartheid South West Africa were better than those of post-independent Namibia.
“Such mindsets are not only unpatriotic but insulting to those who made immense sacrifices in the quest for freedom,” Geingob said.
Geingob said over the 32 years, the government developed processes, systems and institutions that have buttressed its governance architecture, improved and expanded access to primary education, expanded access to medical care, and expanded the supply of safe and clean drinking water to rural areas.
“The government’s rural electrification program has brought electricity to thousands of Namibians. We have expanded our physical and communications infrastructure, including building new roads, modernising our harbours, and rolling out mobile telecommunications technology throughout the country,” Geingob said.
The President added that the government maintains approximately one million Namibians annually through the expenditure of N$7 billion on social safety nets.
“These one million Namibians have borne the brunt of past exclusionary socio-economic practices of a system designed to limit the upward mobility of black Namibians. As a caring government, social safety nets are not a nice-to-have; they are a post-colonial must-have,” Geingob said.
Geingob further stressed that the country’s national ambitions are threatened by the scourge of corruption, which, if allowed to gain a foothold in society, places national security, sovereignty, and economic development under severe threat.
“Corruption is a global problem and requires a united approach if we aim to defeat it. This is why we are fashioning closer co-operation with international anti-corruption agencies to help fight corruption,” he added.