Governors told to work for development

Christine //Hoëbes

Minister in the Presidency Christine //Hoëbes has urged regional governors to ensure they translate political vision into tangible plans and development projects that will improve the lives of ordinary Namibians.

//Hoëbes said regional governors should be cognisant of being at the forefront of implementing government programmes and policies, ensuring that they are effectively executed and delivering the desired outcomes within the regions.

She made the remarks at the opening of the third governors forum on Thursday at Gobabis, where all 14 governors gathered to discuss, among other things, rural development, decentralisation, economic growth and challenges facing communities.

“These types of platforms are important when it comes to strategic topics that assist with underlining governors’ political oversight of government programmes and the importance of service delivery within the regions you are leading. Your role is pivotal in translating political visions into tangible results that will improve the lives of our people,” said //Hoëbes.

She urged the governors to reflect on their responsibilities as public servants and the impact they can make on communities.

Regional governors are appointed in terms of article 110A of the Namibian Constitution as political heads of their respective regions to oversee the exercise of any executive function of the government in the region. They also serve as links between the central government and the regional council, local authorities and traditional leaders in the region concerned and represent the central government.

Governors forum chairperson Laura McLeod-Katjirua said the forum will take stock and evaluate the institutional capacity of governors’ offices to develop plans to become more efficient in achieving targeted objectives.

Governors’ support constitutes administrative officers, personal assistants, private secretaries, switchboard operators, office assistants and two drivers. They have no economic researchers, or project planners/managers attached to them, while their stakeholders comprise government offices, ministries and agencies, business communities, faith-based organisations and youth and women’s groups, among others.

“The forum has resolved to review their current linkages and partnerships to align them with the responsibilities and mandates of governors and map out a joint strategy for efficient service delivery,” said McLeod-Katjirua.

Their mandate often gets attacked by opposition political parties who view their role merely as coordinators with no mandate over development planning and execution. //Kharas regional council chairperson 0Josef Isaaks earlier this year noted that governors have no executive powers, no mandate over regional councils, no authority over management committees and are not the signing authorities when it comes to decentralisation or devolution of powers from line ministries. “The regional council has the executive mandate on all the projects taking place in the region, not the governor. From planning, decision making, monitoring and evaluation, all those are within the mandate of the chairperson of the regional council,” said Isaaks.

Omaheke Regional Council chairperson Ignatius Kariseb said such sessions should deliberate on innovative ideas and collaborative efforts aimed at contributing to the prosperity and well-being of the people.

“May this session be a platform for fruitful deliberations and meaningful collaborations that will leave a lasting impact on the prosperity of our communities.” The forum ended on Saturday.

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