Namibia: Geingob Concludes Town Hall Meetings

President Hage Geingob (file photo).

President Hage Geingob on Thursday concluded his regional town hall meetings which were, among others, aimed at reviewing the progress on drought relief and identifying bottlenecks in order to scale up government interventions.

Over the last month and a half, Geingob, accompanied by ministers, deputy ministers, advisors, executive directors, and other senior officials, toured the country's 14 regions to account for progress the administration has made since the last townhall meetings in 2015.

The president concluded his national assessment tour in the Khomas Region.

During the early hours of the day, Geingob made a brief appearance at Baumgartsbrunn before he proceeded to Windhoek's Ramatex complex, where he engaged members of the community who thronged the venue.

From the onset, Geingob dismissed claims by his critics that he was campaigning through the town hall meetings ahead of the November election.

"This is not a campaign," he said, adding that he would soon launch his campaign and will be dressed in "different [Swapo party] colours]".

While noting that Namibians are too critical and negative about their country, he expressed gratitude over the attitude displayed by citizens in the 14 regions.

"Everywhere we went, no one misbehaved and there were no drunkards... sitting here today in itself is a success. I am very happy. [It] shows that we can hold hands. There is hope. I see a bright future. I am happy to lead people like you," he said.

Seemingly optimistic about securing a second presidential term when his current one expires on 21 March 2020, Geingob said he would account again after five years.

"We will see what we are going to do after five years," he said.

Also speaking was Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who said the government's intervention is targeted at ensuring that no Namibian dies due to hunger, amid the severe drought that has affected the nation.

"The aim of the drought relief is to protect human life by ensuring that the most vulnerable can endure the drought impact," she said.

To address this predicament, the government, through its mitigation efforts, is providing water, rehabilitated broken boreholes, food parcels to households, free fodder to most affected farmers and a livestock marketing incentive.

In May, Geingob declared a state of emergency - the second in three years - over the drought situation, mobilising all government agencies to respond to the drought.

The lack of rain has left at least 500 000 people - one in five Namibians - without access to enough food, the government has said.

- Nampa.

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