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EDITORIAL: Salvage your legacy, Mr President

President Hage Geingob waxed lyrical about his record and accomplishments at yesterday's State of the Nation Address, but the question of whether this will be enough to save his legacy lingers.

The stakes are high. In fairness, there are islands of success. Recipients of his generous social grants, particularly the elderly, will have Geingob’s name deeply engraved on their hearts for the remainder of their days.

Yet individuals who know even a little about the real situation regarding our economy will be aware that many governmental expenditures, including these handouts, are paid for with borrowed funds. If the president was to leave office today, he would leave us in debt worth 70% of our GDP.

He wouldn't want that to be his lasting legacy.

He was brave and sincere in acknowledging the shockingly high rates of unemployment, particularly among young people, who he startlingly feared may turn into terrorists in an effort to survive. This also damages his track record.

As we have often emphasised, his administration began at an unfavourable time. Droughts, Covid-19 and the global economic recession may have been out of his control, but there were many other variables in his control that were just as harmful.

It is thus uncertain whether Geingob's remaining one-and-half years in office will be sufficient to improve his record during what was referred to as his ‘legacy term’.


Namibian Sun 2023-03-30

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