President Dr Hage G. Geingob Donates N$60,000 Every Month from His Salary to Needy Communities
Since becoming the Head of State, President Dr Hage G. Geingob has been donating N$60,000 every month from his presidential salary to needy communities in the country, including assisting young Namibians with further studies. The N$60,000 is also used to assist communities in Otavi, Otjiwarongo, and Grootfontein in purchasing food and other necessities. The Presidency does not expect The Namibian newspaper to focus on these human interest stories, which speak to the President’s humanity and should serve as an example for other citizens to follow. To tell these stories would require journalism that builds communities and national cohesion, which is not part of the editorial line of The Namibian newspaper. President Geingob continues to interact extensively with Namibians through Town Hall Meetings and is constantly working to find solutions to the challenges that Namibians face.
Mindlessly and without context, The Namibian newspaper chose to lazily report in a mean-spirited tone on false amounts concocted about the travel allowances President Geingob allegedly received in 2022 in the legitimate conduct of his duties as Head of State outside the country. Allowances for the Head of State in the conduct of official missions are matters of policy, and President Geingob did not alter existing policies in that regard. Presidents take Rate 2, which is the most cost-effective option and only caters for their meals and other incidental expenses because the state bears responsibility for their accommodation on official missions.
Therefore, the petty obsession with external missions and allowances of President Geingob in The Namibian newsroom is mind-boggling because there is no focus on the substance of what the President carried out as part of his constitutional obligation, which is to represent Namibia and its interests at home and abroad. For every invitation that the President accepts to participate in a global meeting or where he is expected to be present by virtue of the positions Namibia holds, the President declines no less than 10 other invitations. The increasing number of invitations President Geingob receives and declines is the result of the success of the President in bilateral and multilateral fora.
Heads of State are invited to meetings by peers and institutions because their voices are valued and respected. President Geingob does not ask to be invited but responds to demands for his voice and presence at events. Any serious newspaper should concern itself with the increasing prestige and soft power of Namibia in international affairs, from the country’s position as a peace-builder to its emerging clean energy power through Green Hydrogen, including our position as a voice against Climate Change and stronger action in the climate crisis. Namibia is invited to serve on panels that lead on issues, and President Geingob is called upon to share the Namibian example’s power in our region’s peace diplomacy. Apparently, for The Namibian newspaper, these matters, on which ordinary Namibians ought to be enlightened, are not newsworthy because they advance the stock of the President.
For news to be news, the Apartheid mindset, which is still prevalent in the newsroom of The Namibian, means that even when they are not, we must paint black leaders as failures, greedy and incompetent. It is inconceivable to find a serious newspaper across the globe that leads its festive editions with toxic headlines about phoney travel allowances of the Head of State. The editorial line is simple – cast the President in a bad light. Namibians are not duped by these lies, which are repeatedly told and grafted as news when we all know that it is not news but propaganda from a newspaper that spews hatred towards certain citizens, including the President. Moreover, no one should underestimate the effects of tribalism and racism on the post-Apartheid mindset and sense of self.
The Presidency goes to great lengths to provide detail about bilateral and multilateral meetings of the President, at home and abroad. The Presidency has also on several occasions explained to The Namibian newspaper and in the interest of the Namibian public the nexus between diplomacy and national development. Since The Namibian newspaper is driven by a personal agenda to malign the person of President Geingob, the editorial newsroom is regrettably but unsurprisingly not interested in the substance of what President Geingob has achieved in foreign policy as the nation’s Chief Diplomat.