It’s one thing for our government to select its ministers, people trustworthy to deliver all the promises made by the government, and the other is for the government to strictly monitor these individuals to ensure that they deliver. This is necessary because the credibility of any government revolves around the leader and the people working with him.
Namibia’s new President, Hage Geingob forced all his ministers (including himself) to disclose their net worth and business interests alongside their achievable goals as ministers. Interestingly, the president took steps further to publish them for the Namibian public to view.
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As part of his relentless effort to root out nibbling the bite of corruption in the country, Namibia’s prime minister recently announced that anyone interested in knowing the cabinet ministers’ performance agreements can freely do so at his office.
In April last year, President Geingob announced his strict order on his ministers to choose either to follow their political ambition by fulfilling all their said promises or go back to their private businesses. “No more business on the side ministers… You’re 100% politician or not at all,” he said.
According to him, when you mix business with politics, “one area usually suffers and most often it is the official work that lags behind. This is why as political officials, we declare our interests in order to ensure that as public officials and stewards of the public trust, we should continue to put the public’s interest before our own.”
Meanwhile, in the agreement, all ministers made various commitments surrounding four basic themes which they would be held accountable for by the Namibians. These include
- Poverty eradication
- Reduction of income disparities
- Employment Creation
More to this, all permanent secretaries are expected to produce a progress report on the performance of all the ministries in every four months.The ministers will also forward these progress reports to the president a month before the year ends. The president is also required to hold an evaluation session with each minister after every two months.
To some Namibians, though some of the agreements look a bit vague, they are no longer ignorant of what is expected of every minister in the country. The following ministers, for instance, have the following roles they must fulfill:
- Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta is expected to train up to 20 people each year in a selected field in tourism and to create 199 jobs in his attempt to eradicate poverty.
- Land reform minister Utoni Nuyoma is expected to have acquired 188 000 hectares of land for resettlement in his bid for land distribution.
- Gender minister Doreen Sioka will have around 37 000 children enrolled at early childhood development centers in an attempt to improve opportunities for better living standards of children.
- Finance minister Calle Schlettwein must improve foreign reserves with an annual target of three months’ import cover
Namibia President Geingob made this decision in order to ensure that his promise of creating a culture of transparent government is achieved. It is also that the public will be able to measure each minister’s performance and hold each accountable for their works.
The ministerial performance agreement was published on Friday, January 22nd and its open for public view at the Parliament Building from 8h00 until 17h00 during weekdays.
We hope that all African governments take this exemplary actions of President Hage Geingob to bring to an end the era of corruption and misappropriation of public fund in all African countries. This, in fact, is a sound measure towards achieving a successful government.