At 77, same old Pohamba
President Pohamba this Saturday celebrates his 77th birthday. Congratulations! The good Lord has saved him from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He has satisfied him with long life. (Psalm 91).
Over the years of his presidency, Pohamba has given wide-ranging interviews to both print and electronic media, and these gave broader insight into the man, the leader and the father that he is.
Pohamba has shied away from lavish ceremonies on the events of his birthday unlike his friends Robert Mugabe and King Mswathi III, and even Jacob Zuma.
Presidential hopeful Hage Geingob gave a hint of what type of President he could be last year on his 70th birthday—totally different from Pohamba’s style.
That is the kind of man our president is. Last year, he put a ban on media advertising of his birthday event, but still, because of the good man that he is, we all want to be associated with him.
With Pohamba as President, it is unlike other countries where leaders have full bellies and live lavish lifestyles while the majority starves.
Pohamba has stuck to his principle. His eldest son, Mandume tells us of the President’s simple lifestyle in the village on Page 4, and it is almost evident that Pohamba will spend his life after State House, the way he ruled this country—simple.
However, one day when the annals of our country’s leaders are released, Pohamba will go down as Namibia’s good president, not the best president.
We are proud to have such a sober-minded president, few would begrudge him, although that does not mean that his reign is a success.
There are many contentious issues that due to his simple and humble approach remain unsolved. It could be because not everyone in his team is like him and will do things in the name of pleasing others and not in the name of principle.
We still have high record failures especially among ministers who if this country had a President in the mould of Mugabe or King Mswati, would require you to speak their language as a means of survival.
The failure in curbing graft, the lack of a Midas touch among some leaders in cabinet is all evidence of blocking economic development and raises the kick-back concern.
We are conscious of the fact that policy interventions alone will never help curb the ills of this country but it needs the right people and because there is a difference between a good president and the best president, perhaps it might be time that Pohamba himself starts pruning the unfruitful branches from the tree.
This is our message to you Your Excellency, as an individual, you are the best, but as President, there are instances where we need you to show the different side of your leadership personality, especially on those living on the politics of the belly, someone which is immune to you.
Happy Birthday Mr. President and May God bless you.
We are proud of having a President like you and wish you many more happy returns.