Polarised politics made decision-making complex – Nandi-Ndaitwah

Vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah says the presidential decision-making process and governance were complex due to polarised politics.

Nandi-Ndaitwah on Saturday said social media has polarised politics in the country, which influenced how late president Hage Geingob made his decisions.

“With the advent of social media and the proliferation of political parties, our politics became extremely polarised in a manner that made the task of presidential decision-making and governance in general extremely complex, if not plain difficult,” she said.

The vice president was speaking about the challenges the country faced over the past nine years at the Hage Geingob memorial lecture under the theme ‘His legacy lives on’.

Geingob died on 4 February after a short battle with cancer.

“As a party, we also felt the effects of polarisation in 2017 and the impact thereof during the 2019 presidential and National Assembly Elections, as well as the 2020 Regional and Local Authority Elections – the effects of intra party polarisation on governance and service delivery cannot be underestimated. I am glad that we are no longer in that space,” she said.

The other challenges she mentioned was the end of the “commodity super cycle” in 2014.

“Instead of an expansionary macroeconomic policy, president Geingob was compelled to stabilise public finances and to introduce a fiscal consolidation strategy and expenditure prioritisation in 2015,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

The other two matters were the drought between 2016 and 2019, as well as the Covid-19 global pandemic, of which the first index cases were recorded in March 2020.

Moreover, she reflected on Geingob’s leadership style.

“President Geingob was bold in using language and concepts to mobilise Namibians around certain goals and objectives, such as unity and pulling together in the same direction,” she said.

The vice president said Geingob was intentional in using the power of persuasion to diffuse tensions and to build bridges, both at home and in the governance of Namibia’s foreign policy.

“President Geingob was intentional in getting Namibians to talk and debate about his framing of each year with a theme, which he used as a rallying call for Namibians to hold hands and to work towards shared objectives in a particular year,” she said.

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