By Confidente Reporter
NAMIBIA’S threat of an outlook downgrade by international rating agency, Fitch could be as a result of misinformation circulating about the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF), President Hage Geingob said last week.
Speaking during a press conference held at State House last week, Geingob said Government had not yet adopted NEEEF as consultations are still being held.
The press conference was called among other issues to address matters about the looming nationwide strike of teachers over an eight percent salary increment, his trip to the United States of America to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York and the volatile economic situation the country currently faces. “I don’t know why NEEEF is being rejected without us even adopting it. Cabinet did not approve it. The bone of contention is the 25 percent. Now, NEEEF is being condemned because of the 25 percent clause that says you must sell to the previously disadvantaged. What do we do as Namibians to live in this house together? Are we going to continue to live in inequality?
“I would have liked people who are opposed to certain clauses to provide alternatives. It just looks like protectionism. Protecting the privileges of those who have is going to lead us into big trouble. We are not saying grab this and give to this one. The way Namibians react to things somehow sabotages the country, because that downgrading threat is based on that,” Geingob said.
The President in what appeared like a direct reference to the Minister of Information C o m m u n i c a t i o n Technology, Tjekero Tweya not to interfere with media freedom in the country he warned his Cabinet to tread with caution on the matter.
“I want to warn my ministers, as if I own them, to be careful. We struggled for a free press, free movement and free speech, and will be heartless to say that we are going to control the press. That is the strongest leg to stand on. We are known as the freest press in Africa. We are number 18 in the world. Not that I care about world recognition only. I was telling some Western countries that we are democratic, but not to please you. We have a free press not to get ratings. It’s a good thing to have a free press, but you must also join us. You are claiming that you want to self-regulate, but let’s have accuracy, objectivity, educate and inform, then nobody will try to think about controlling the press. But that is not a policy,” he said.
Geingob also said his trips outside the country were not because he enjoys travelling or he wants to pocket S&T.
“I have been travelling in planes since 1962. Travelling is not a new thing that I will be dying for. People talk that we travel for S&T. What is S&T? Is it a thing that if you are entitled to it, you get it? Why is it an issue? I would not waste my time to go and get S&T. As a President, am I not supposed to go to the United Nations to other international gatherings, especially when my office is full of invitations?” Geingob said.
Commenting on the country’s economy that is experiencing some volatility, Geingob said it wasn’t due to reckless spending by the Government but due to the current situation happening globally.
He also revealed how Government was being milked dry by people who inflate prices on Government contracts.
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