The year of introspection

05 February 2020 | Opinion

Yesterday, President Hage Geingob christened 2020 ‘The Year of Introspection’ during the first cabinet meeting of the year at State House.

Introspection is curtly defined as “the careful examination of your own thoughts, feelings and reasons for behaving in a particular way”.

The president contextualised introspection, in the case of his government and its leaders, as a reflection on whether they were still following “our initially set objectives or not”.

“For example, to what extent have we done what the people required from us to meet their basic needs? Have we delivered sufficient houses, toilets, boreholes, school classrooms, hospitals and the like?

“As cabinet ministers occupying public offices, what have we contributed to realise the key objectives of government?

“We must ask ourselves whether or not we have discharged our cabinet duties to the best of our abilities and whether or not our contributions have lifted the burdens of poverty from our people and created new opportunities for their growth,” Geingob said.

However, he could not resist taking a swipe at some analysts who have argued that the loss of Swapo’s two-thirds majority in parliament during last year’s general election is a big failure. The president claimed that Swapo, who will be 14 seats poorer when the new National Assembly is sworn-in next month, had received “a massive mandate of 66% and 63 seats”.

This is a self-defeating argument, in that the political turmoil within Swapo laid the foundation for a massive onslaught against the ruling party during the election. In fact, the Supreme Court is set to deliver a judgment this morning on an application that challenged Geingob’s 56% presidential race win over Swapo member Panduleni Itula, who stood as an independent candidate.

This time of introspection would be well-spent on objectively analysing how the ruling party has been weakened to such an extent that it plummeted from 80% in 2014, while Geingob himself shed a massive 30% of his vote tally.

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