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Untold Stories – The Philanthropic deeds of Geingob

02/11/2017
by Joseph Kudumo
Columns

In Namibia, it is common for people not give credit where it’s due, ever more so when it comes to our current President, Dr Hage Geingob. 

People are quick to malign an individual but slow to acknowledge someone’s achievements or good deeds. 

I have thus endeavoured to highlight several good deeds that our current President is involved in that many people around the country are not aware of. 

Contrary to what some malevolent individuals would have you believe, the President is a charitable man; he is a man who believes in helping the needy, a man who believes in taking care of the old, a man with a compassionate heart.

Tasked with the most critical job in the country, all these great qualities tend to be overshadowed by the current economic and political crisis that the country is facing. 

During his tenure as the Minister of Trade and Industry, he embarked on an outreach program, visiting all the regions in the country, accompanied by the staff of the Ministry, to interact with the local community members and to engage with them on different issues that the residents face each day. 

This was seen as an opportunity for the local individuals to air their concerns and their opinions on what changes they would like to see happens within their communities. 

After all the consultations were held, a collective decision was made by the Ministry to purchase machinery for the selected individuals to help them sustain themselves. 

The machinery ranged from wheel alignment machines, farming equipment, salon equipment, baking and catering machines, printing and embroidery as well as sewing machines just to mention a few. 

Thus, the Equipment Aid Scheme was born. Today, many people have benefitted from this program. 

A large number of these people have become extremely successful and have gone as far as creating employment within their communities. 

Since the year 2010, the President has pledged to donate five herds of cattle annually from his farm. The cattle will be distributed to several municipal councils to meet the needs of the old age people within those municipal areas. 

The cows are donated every December so that they can be slaughtered and prepared as a Christmas lunch for our elders. It is a stark reality that most of our elders are often left alone during the festive season. 

Thus the idea was conceived to have a Christmas lunch to bring all the elders together during this joyous time. 

The carcasses are often delivered at the municipal halls and kept there until such time that they are needed to be prepared. 

The beneficiaries of this initiative are in the towns of Kalkfeld, Otjiwarongo, Otavi, Tsumeb and lastly Grootfontein. The President chose these areas as because of the personal bond he has with the area, having been born in the central region of the country. 

Furthermore, being a busy man that he is, he has gone on to pledge a total amount of N$30 000 from his salary to purchase much-needed food items for the needy people in the towns of Otjiwarongo, Otavi, Tsumeb, Kalkfeld and Grootfontein. 

More than 45 individual households benefit from this program. Every month end, the money is transferred directly to the Agra account to purchase the household items. 

The items range from maize meal, tinned fish, washing powder, salt sugar, tea and much more. The food is delivered every month end. 

As if this is not enough, in July 2017, the President pledged an additional N$10 000 from his salary to fund the same program since more people were identified as being in dire need of these donations. 

This brings the total amount to N$40 000. On top of this amount, another N$ 20 000 is also pledged from his monthly salary towards the One Economy Foundation to assist in the Education initiatives. 

Many of those working closely with the president can testify to his sincerity and generous nature, namely the bodyguards and the drivers, who have a free meal ticket whenever the President has lunch each day, be it at work or a private restaurant. 

He also goes as far as giving the police officers who are assigned to him a full cow carcass whenever he decides to spend some time at his farm in the festive season. This is the nature of a humane and caring individual.

The President is doing his best in his capacity to help the Namibian Nation where he can. He is not obliged to do any of the tasks mentioned above. 

However, he still does it because of the empathy he has for the Namibian people at large. He is not only talking the War on Poverty, but he is walking the War on Poverty. 

Many feel that he is not doing enough, true, this might be the case, but we should learn to give credit where it is due. 

The President also has his family members to take care of, which he does in his capacity as a family man and not the President. 

This script was written to try and offer a balanced view and change the perception that people have about the President; that of not caring about the Namibian people because he genuinely does. 

The above-mentioned programmes are only taking place in selected areas of the country; however, the President is working on ways to branch out the programmes to all the regions of the country. 

This will not be easy due to logistical reasons, but the President believes that where there is a will, there is a way. 

On behalf of the President, I would also like to thank the following individuals who have greatly assisted with the smooth operation of this program:

• Mr Kaunda, our direct contact for Grootfontein and Otavi district

• Mr Lemmy Geingob for the Tsumeb district

• The governor for the Otjozonjupa region Honourable Otto Ipinge

• Retired Bishop Mr Nakamela who represents the Kalkfeld district

• Lastly Ms Joan from Agra, key accounts executive for the president’s account at Agra, and everyone else from the communities for their constant support and motivation.

In conclusion, let us appreciate what the President is currently doing for the people of Namibia. He is a single human being, tasked with the most critical job in the country. Running a country is not easy, and no president has ever said it was a smooth and comfortable task. 

Being President of a country comes with a lot of challenges and criticism. Amidst all this, our President still finds the time to be compassionate towards the ordinary people around him.

Let us recognise and acknowledge his efforts. Let us thank him for trying. Let us endeavour to emulate his philanthropic deeds.