Prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila thanked Mbumba for his “inspiring” state of the nation address. 

Swapo secretary general Sophia Shaningwa thanked president Nangolo Mbumba for delivering the state of the nation address and for how he handled the transition after the death of former president Hage Geingob.

Mbumba says resettlement criteria need to be inspected. “It would be a shame if we did it for those who already have land.”

Mbumba says the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs and its Zambian counterpart are coordinating the removal of landmines along the Namibia-Zambia border in the Zambezi region.

Mbumba said if a minister is issuing his relatives petroleum licences, it should be challenged. He did not specify which minister.

Namibia should be able to produce its own food and should not depend on other countries, Mbumba says.

National Council member Mumbali Lukaezi says some graduates from the University of Namibia’s Katima Mulilo campus will not graduate this year, as they have an outstanding module. He says this was only discovered a few weeks before their graduation, which would have taken place in April.

National Council member Paulus Mbangu asked the president what longterm plans his government has to address the severe drought in the country.

National Council member Paulus Mbangu has accused speaker Peter Katjavivi of relegating members of the council to a second-rate question-and-answer session. 

“That’s not appropriate,” he says.

Mbumba says corrupt individuals should be reported to the authorities.

Touching on the issue of farms, the president says the government has made farms available to those in need.

The issue of striking fishermen has been a crisis and should not be politicised, he says.  

The president says the biggest chunk of the national budget was made available to the social sector, including the education and health sectors. He was responding to a question on whether the government did not want to make money available to the agriculture sector.

Shekupakela reiterated that the fight for liberation was for land, and asked Mbumba what his views are on ancestral land and how he intends to address the issue of land.

The speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, has asked parliamentarians to keep questions short and concise, and to avoid reading from a piece of paper as if reading a speech.

Republican Party member of parliament Mathias Mbundu asked president Nangolo Mbumba what steps he would take to address the issue of tenderpreneurs. 

Mukwiilongo asked the president why he cannot grant the Caprivi secessionists parole, as the person who was at the forefront of the secession has left Namibia. 

According to Mukwiilongo, they have been in prison for 24 years.

Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters member of parliament Epafras Mukwilongo called on Mbumba’s government to accommodate low-income earners, such as cleaners and security guards.

Venaani said Mbumba has been indicted to testify in court in the ongoing Fishrot fraud and corruption trial, and further asked whether he would do so as former Swapo secretary general.

Venaani asked Mbumba whether he would publicly declare his assets. 

Official opposition leader McHenry Venaani says today would have been historical, as former president Hage Geingob would have made his last state of the nation address. 

“We will honour Geingob’s legacy by working hard,” the president says.

He says Namibia’s bilateral agreements with neighbouring South Africa have been forged to adopt going green.

Mbumba reiterates that Namibia and Botswana allowing the use of identification cards for travel purposes by the two country’s citizens has improved trade.

He says Namibia’s bilateral agreements are strong, and the country’s multilateralism is principled.

He says the domestic economy is affected by external factors, such as drug trafficking, cybercrime, as well as climate change.

Mbumba says Namibia is a small, but principled state.

The government has set aside N$2,5 billion in the current financial year for the development of the rail sector, the president says.

He says the green hydrogen and energy sectors are needed to enhance economic activity at the country’s ports.

Some 146 boreholes have been drilled in various regions, Mbumba says. 

The renovation of Independence Stadium is a government priority, the president says. 

He says the Hage Geingob School of Medicine has produced Namibia’s first dentist.

The Cabinet in 2022 adopted an education policy meant to improve the quality of education in the country.

The Nkurenkuru and Keetmanshoop vocational training centres will be operationalised in the second quarter of 2024, he says.

A new Windhoek district hospital is set to reduce referrals to Katutura Intermediate Hospital.

Namibia has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as the country in Africa making the most progress on the elimination of the hepatitis virus, Mbumba says.

As a result, the government has partnered with shack dwellers and the private sector, in addition to approving a new housing provision agreement last year.

The government is focusing on addressing the backlog in the housing sector, as well as fast-tracking service delivery, the president says.

He says the government has facilitated the placement of over 1 000 people under the integrated jobseeking system under the labour ministry.

As more than two thirds of Namibians are living in communal areas, Mbumba says the government is working towards improving the livelihoods of the residents of these areas.

Geingob envisaged a hunger-free Namibia, Mbumba says. Some 50% of this year’s budget is allocated to health, education and gender issues, he says.

Mbumba spoke on president Hage Geigob’s vision that no Namibian should be left out, with the government’s current budget focusing on social sectors with 50% dedicated to those sectors.

Mbumba has commended the Namibia Statistics Agency for conducting a successful census last year, which revealed that Namibia’s population currently stands at over three million people.

President Nangolo Mbumba says Namibia experienced a surge in oil exploration in 2023, and the country is prepared for these opportunities.

There will be zero tolerance of gender-based violence, he says. 

The Presidency’s open-door policy is a clear indication of the government’s commitment to enhancing accountabilty, he says.

Several uranium mining operations will start this year, the president says.

Geingob worked hard to maintain peace and stability, the president says. 

During Geingob’s tenure, more women representation was observed in parliament, Mbumba said.

ARRIVED … President Nangolo Mbumba has arrived in parliament for his first state of the nation address. Photo: Shania Lazarus

SONA … Members of parliament, ambassadors and other government officials have gathered at the parliament building in Windhoek for the state of the nation address (Sona) that will be delivered by president Nangolo Mbumba on Thursday. Photo: Shania Lazarus

Political analysts views ahead of SONA

Nafimane Hamukoshi, from the Economic and Social Justice Trust, anticipates that president Nangolo Mbumba’s Sona will announce new plans for programmes, policies, or tactics. 

Hamukoshi says there may also be talks about measures to fight corruption, reform governance, and promote environmental sustainability – all of which are essential in building a more just and equitable society in Namibia.

Political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah says he does not expect Mbumba to announce new programmes during his Sona this afternoon. 

Kamwanyah says he expects Mbumba to address the Harambee Prosperity Plan, green hydrogen and the changes made to social grants during the budget tabling earlier this year.

Kamwanyah says he expects Mbumba to address the Harambee Prosperity Plan, green hydrogen and the changes made to social grants during the budget tabling earlier this year.

“However, I expect, given the current unemployment situation, that he will shift gears and say something in this regard,” Kamwanyah says.

Rinaani Musutua from the Basic Income Grant Coalition expects the president to focus on the increases in social grants to prove the budget is pro-poor. 

“We believe it is not,” she says.

“He will also use that as the reason for not expanding social grants, even though the government’s 2022 social protection policy clearly recognises the need for the expansion of social grant coverage to protect people against the cruelty of poverty in a country where 64% of the population lives in multidimensional poverty,” Musutua says.

Musutua says the president will also reflect on the imminent drought Namibia is facing, and that this would put strain on the state’s resources.

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