BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Friday, 9 February, 2001, 10:40 GMT
Nujoma's war on waste
President Sam Nujoma
Nujoma has chosen to sacrifice his car
By Frauke Jansen in Windhoek

Namibian President Sam Nujoma is about to trade in his Mercedes Benz for a four-wheel drive Chevrolet.

It is all part of an economy drive - and President Nujoma wants his cabinet to get on board.


It is high time that we start behaving ... in exemplary ways

President Nujoma
But the local press reports that ministers are reluctant to give up their newly acquired Mercedes.

Mr Nujoma is anxious that the government spends its limited revenue on development projects, but it is Namibia's participation in the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo that is eating up funds.

Leadership

In a stern speech to cabinet President Nujoma encouraged his ministers to follow his example to ensure vital resources needed to fight poverty were not wasted by public servants.

"We are servants of the Namibian people. It is high time that we start behaving as such, in humility and in exemplary ways."

The head of state also announced he was cancelling all his non-essential overseas trips.

Mr Nujoma first announced he would lead by example to curb unnecessary spending in December, saying if the whole of cabinet relinquished their Mercedes for cheaper options, savings of up to $1m a year could be made.

Apart from getting rid of expensive vehicles, he also called on political office bearers to stop using government vehicles for private excursions, and to stop using government allowances to finance private trips.

Expensive war

The president's initiative has drawn mixed reactions from the opposition parties, who on the one hand have welcomed his efforts to cut spending, but on the other say it may be too little too late.

Namibia's annual budget has sharply risen over the past couple of years, not least due to the country's involvement in the war in the DR Congo.

The minister of finance's annual call for prudence and accountability, as well as the prime minister's annual fight against corruption have up to now largely fallen on deaf ears.

A committee is to be set up to look at how wastage on the part of government can be minimised.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

21 Mar 00 | Africa
Namibia's Nujoma sworn in
08 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Namibia
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories